The European Parliament recently voted in support of the introduction of an EU-wide coronavirus passport. The EU hopes this will be ready to use in time for the summer holidays.
If you have taken your first dose of the vaccine, you might have noticed that the COVID-19 Vaccination card does not necessarily convey its significance, given that it is simply a flimsy piece of paper. To legitimise this, along with other regions worldwide, the European Commission (‘the Commission’) has proposed to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement within the European Union and the Schengen Area. The Digital Green Certificate will serve as proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19
The digital or physical passport would be available to all EU residents and nationals who wish to travel within the EU, and would provide proof of either vaccination, a recent negative coronavirus test, or recent recovery of the virus (which would mean the traveller had sufficient antibodies). The EU hopes the introduction of the passport will make travel easier and safer.
An overwhelming majority voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposal, with 540 MPs supporting the bill.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called the vote an “important step towards free and safe travel this summer.” She expects to have the system approved and up and running by the end of June.
Once the Commission’s Digital Green Certificate is implemented, EU citizens will be able to travel freely within the EU, which will hopefully reboot and revive economies and businesses across the continent once again. For European employers, these Digital Green Certificates will bring about numerous benefits, however, certain legal challenges may also arise.