The European Parliament has voted in favour of a COVID-19 certificate to allow free movements for EU citizens and visitors.
The approval of the EU’s proposed Digital Green Certificate Regulation is set to enable its rapid implementation. Nonetheless, parliament introduced a number of changes to the original proposal:
• A new name, “EU COVID-19 Certificate” has been agreed to make it clearer to EU citizens and also limit the certificates’ use to during the pandemic.
• Free and accessible testing: testing is absolutely key in travel recovery. The requirement to conduct tests (often PCR) should not create an economic distortion between travellers as potential high costs could become a deterrent to travel.
• Full equality among vaccinated and tested citizens: No additional measures such as quarantine or further testing should be imposed on travellers presenting the EU COVID-19 Certificate.
The proposed amendments send a strong political message from the Parliament on the urgency to restore free movement in the EU, one of the pillars of the single market enshrined in European treaties.
Swift action among institutions is now required in order to make the certificates operational by June and ensure reciprocity with non-EU systems. It is a matter of urgency as vaccination in Europe gains momentum.