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Digital Green Certificate may take effect soon; EU countries agreed to the proposal

DUBLIN: The European Union (EU) has approved five major amendments to the Digital Green Certificate (Passport) proposal, which aims to make air travel easier for people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. If the European Parliament approves the proposal, governments, including Ireland, will be allowed to grant digital green certificates when citizens request for foreign travel.

The European Union (EU) has proposed the vaccine passport scheme to allow free travel in the summer and to support the crisis-hit tourism sector. Digital Green Certificates aims to allow people to travel freely across Europe this summer. The passport will include details about whether the person has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, has a negative test result, or has recovered from COVID-19.

The vote will take place in the European Parliament on April 28. All 27 EU member states have agreed to the vaccine passport proposal. Therefore, it can be assumed that the green certificate will become a reality without delay. EU ambassadors have unanimously endorsed their stance on the vaccine passport.

It is hoped that the vaccine passport would allow a faster return to travel between EU member states. However, some concerns have been raised about whether it can be considered a version of mandatory vaccination. Critics point out that this could be a problem, especially in places where access to the COVID-19 tests is limited.

Last month, six out of 13 MEPs in Ireland voted against the hasty introduction of digital green certificates. Yet the European Parliament passed this urgency proposal without committee scrutiny.

Southern European countries such as Spain and Greece have come forward to introduce COVID passports. At the same time, many EU members, such as France, have raised concerns about discrimination against those who are not vaccinated.

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