Members of the European Parliament have voted to fast-track the EU’s digital green certificate, a travel pass it is hoped will allow intercontinental tourism to resume this summer.
More than two-thirds of MEPs on Wednesday (24 March) voted in favour of using emergency powers to accelerate scrutiny of the proposals, set out by the European Commission last week.
"To facilitate its adoption by the summer, MEPs decided to accelerate the approval of the digital green certificate, allowing for safe and free movement during the pandemic," parliament confirmed.
The commission’s proposals for the pass, which will allow travellers to verify their Covid status through vaccine certification, Covid-19 test results, or information on a recent recovery from the virus, will yet require the backing of the European Parliament and European Council.
Parliament will discuss the proposals during its next session over 26-29 April.
Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, chair of the parliament’s civil liberties committee, said: "We need the digital green certificate to re-establish our confidence in the Schengen zone while continuing to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The certificate cannot be a precondition for free movement as this is a fundamental right in the European Union, and it cannot lead to discrimination against those individuals who do not hold one.
"Citizens’ data must be safe and only necessary data should be included in the certificate."