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Vaccine travel certificates would take effect in June – EU Commission

DUBLIN: The European Union (EU) has intensified efforts to introduce vaccine travel certificates to restore freedom of movement in the Union to citizens who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. The European Commission expects vaccine travel certificates to be ready by June.

According to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the digital certificate will display “whether the person has either been vaccinated, or has a recent negative test, or has recovered from COVID, and thus has antibodies.” The Commission aims to assist member states in ensuring safe, reliable and responsible travel freedom.

It will also free travelers from the restrictions on non-essential travel that exist across Europe following the COVID-19 spread.

However, there are indications that the project will face strong opposition from many member states. The main criticism is that it discriminates against those waiting for vaccination. Some member states point out that the legal process for obtaining the approval of the European Parliament takes a long time. They also worry that there are only three months left for summer vacation.

The Commission confirms that this process can be tracked quickly. The commission said the certificate would be implemented by June. The Commission also assures that it will work closely with various suppliers to ensure adequate availability of the vaccine.

In a joint statement, the European aviation sector called on the EU government to ensure that the certificates are implemented in the summer months.

Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune welcomed the Digital Green Certificate. Mr. Clune said this certificate “will make travel safer and easier across Europe by providing uniform proof that those travelling has been vaccinated against Covid-19, have tested negative or developed immunity”.

MEP Deirdre Clune believes the certificate should only cover COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency.

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