European Union lawmakers on Wednesday approved a new travel certificate that will allow people to travel between European countries without having to quarantine or undergo additional coronavirus tests, paving the way for the launch of the pass. in time for summer.
The highly anticipated certificate aims to save the European travel industry and major tourist sites from another disastrous holiday season. Key travel destinations like Greece have led the campaign for the certificate, which will have both paper and digital forms, to be introduced quickly.
Several EU countries have already started using the system, including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Poland.
Today, traveling to the 27 EU countries is a challenge for tourists and airlines. Countries have varying COVID-19 traffic light systems, where those in green are considered safe and those in red are to be avoided. But each nation has different rules and standards, making travel confusing for everyone.
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The new regulations governing vaccine certificates have been adopted in two votes in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The rules for EU citizens were adopted by 546 votes to 93, with 51 abstentions. Those for people outside the bloc rose to 553 votes to 91, with 46 abstentions.
The vote still needs to be approved by EU countries, but it’s probably a formality.
This means that from July 1 for 12 months, all EU countries must recognize the vaccine certificate. They will be issued free of charge and certify that a person has been fully vaccinated against the virus, has recently tested negative or has recovered from the disease.
The rules will not be heavily enforced for 6 weeks to allow countries to prepare.
Passes will be issued by individual nations, not a centralized European system. They will contain a QR code with advanced security features. Personal data will not be shared with other countries.
Spanish socialist lawmaker Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, who chaperone votes in parliament, said “EU states are encouraged to refrain from imposing further restrictions unless strictly necessary and proportionate”.
People coming from outside the EU, the overwhelming majority of whom would need to be vaccinated to enter, will be able to obtain a certificate if they can convince the authorities of the EU country they are entering that they are entitled to it.