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EU-Wide Vaccine Passport Plan to be Unveiled in March

EU vaccine passport
Credit: Greek Reporter

An EU-wide vaccine passport plan will be unveiled in March, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday.

In a video conference with German conservative lawmakers, she made clear that a proposed law will be unveiled later this month.

Member states agreed last week to implement a of digital certification scheme that coincides with the rollout of Covid inoculations.

Von der Leyen said: “As for the question of what the digital green passport could look like, we will submit a legislative proposal in March.”

The EU’s coronavirus certificates will carry information on whether people have received a vaccine, a negative test or have antibodies agains the coronavirus.

Greece pushing for vaccine passports

Greece and other Mediterranean nations, have been pushing the EU to adopt the scheme, in order to unlock international travel for the summer holidays.

Greece started issuing a digital vaccination certificate in February for citizens who have received both doses of the coronavirus shot.

The certificates feature the vaccinated person’s data, including which shot they received against Covid-19 and when they completed both doses, along with a unique QR code.

Kyriakos Pierrakakis, Minister of State and Digital Governance, has headed the effort to bring Greece into the digital age.

Speaking to AMNA, Pierrakakis stressed that Greece’s vaccination certificate is highly protected from fraud, saying “the digital certificate is secure, it cannot be forged and has a digital stamp.”

The virtual record of one’s vaccination status is not mandatory, but it may be used for traveling or foregoing coronavirus restrictions in the future.

EU vaccine passport could take three months

Last week von der Leyen said technical work on an EU vaccine certificate would take at least three months to complete.

She explained “The time frame, the three months is regarding the technical development, so we do need at least three months for the technical development of an interoperable system on the European level.

“There is lots of work to do by the Commission on the European level and lots of work to do technically for the member states on the national level.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about the unanimous understanding that such an agreement had to be made before the start of the crucial tourist season of Spring and Summer 2021.

In a press conference after the decision, she stated “Everyone agreed that we need a digital vaccination certificate.”

She added that the vaccine passports could be available by summer, but that the bloc needs three months to create the needed technical infrastructure to issue such documentation.

In response to earlier questions regarding the inequality some are claiming would exist when only those who are inoculated can leave their country, she stressed that the creation of the certificates “does not mean that only those who have a vaccination passport are allowed to travel.”


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