Today, the European Commission will present its proposal for the vaccination certificate. Individuals carrying such a certificate will be able to prove that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, have had a negative test result, or have recovered from the infection.
“Now that vaccination in Europe is increasing, we must have a perspective to returning to the fundamental right of free movement and travel in Europe,” said MEP Manfred Weber in a press release. “We have already lost months debating this.”
According to the Brussels Times, the proposal was drafted by Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders and is expected to be approved on March 17th. One of the key points of the proposal indicates that the certificate must be free of charge. It should also include a mechanism to prevent people from presenting fake negative results.
The certificate will show if the holder has been tested recently, and will prevent “discrimination” against people who have not been able to get vaccinated yet. In practice, the proposal is currently planned to consist of a QR code to be presented on a smartphone, but a printed version will also be an alternative.
Several European countries have already started working on their own versions of certificates, one example of which is Greece, a country desperate to restart tourism in one way or another.
Countries like Spain and Portugal have also indicated that their intention is to reopen to tourism as soon as they can find a safe way to do it.
The EU Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen has stressed that the proposal must be able to interoperate across Member States’ systems. Information will not be kept in a central database, and Member States will be responsible for providing and storing information. Examples of data to be kept are: the type of vaccine used, the date of vaccination, test results and immunity.
According to Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Internal Affairs, all Member States are expected to implement the vaccination passport. Each Member State, however, is free to decide whether or not to allow citizens who have been vaccinated with he Russian and Chinese vaccines, which have not yet been recognized or approved in the EU.