The European Commission has unveiled plans for its “digital green pass” vaccination certification to allow safe travel around member states.
The programme will provide evidence that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, recovered from Covid, or received a negative test result.
It will be available free of charge as an electronic or paper version and will include a QR code.
The Commission said it would build a software gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified across member states, with individual countries responsible for which public health restrictions will be waived for pass holders.
The pass is open to citizens of all EU member states and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland as well as non-EU nationals who reside in the EU and to visitors who have the right to travel to other member states.
A digital green certificate is a proof that a person:— European Commission \uD83C\uDDEA\uD83C\uDDFA (@EU_Commission) March 17, 2021
has been vaccinated against COVID-19,
recovered from COVID-19,
or received a negative test result.
It will be available free of charge as an electronic or paper version and will include a QR code to ensure authenticity. pic.twitter.com/2Y618sVjwE
The Commission said the pass was “a temporary measure” which would be suspended once the World Health Organization declared the end of the Covid pandemic.
To be ready before the summer, the proposal “needs a swift adoption” by the European Parliament and the Council, the Commission outlined, calling on EU member states to trust the framework and adopt the technical work to implement the programme in the coming months.
Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told a European Commission College meeting on Wednesday (17 March): "We aim to help member states reinstate the freedom of movement in a safe, responsible and trusted manner."
In a statement, aviation associations Airlines for Europe and Iata welcomed the proposals, calling the certificates “a key tool to facilitate a safe and efficient resumption of travel and tourism in Europe” and urging EU governments to have the pass operational by the travel industry’s peak summer months.