In March last year, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, presented her draft health passport, which will enable citizens of EU member states to travel freely this summer. It has a QR code that is displayed in digital or paper form during border controls.
So on the surface everything seemed very simple and all that was left was for Member States to come to an agreement on how to implement it. The latter did it yesterday, but according to RFI, the exchange between the 27 countries was quite intense. This document now has an official name: “the digital Covid certificate”.
A device that is presented as temporary
It can therefore contain three different elements: a certificate of vaccination, a certificate of recovery or a negative test. Most citizens of the old continent are expected to receive these Covid certificates from July 1st if they so choose. The challenge is to keep them from quarantine measures that undermine tourism.
The EU Justice Commissioner, quoted by our colleague Didier Reynders, is pleased: “This is good news because it will effectively make it possible to guarantee better freedom of movement, a fundamental right of European citizens. This also makes it easier to remove restrictions. That we try to avoid quarantines, tests and restrictions of all kinds as much as possible, unless the health situation worsened again. “
The European authorities have also tried to comply with Parliament’s requests for free tests to be set up by donating € 100 million “to finance PCR tests, including antigens”.
During the presentation of this new device, the committee promised that it would be an instrument “that is free, temporary, and not intended to last in time after the health crisis is over”. However, we will remain cautious in this area as the exceptional measures will be applied more and more frequently over time.
As a reminder, the French government is also planning to use a health passport to allow access to large gatherings. There you can also find the full guide that we dedicated to this topic.
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