EU travel certificates

By | Category: Travel news

The EU has announced its wide digital vaccination certificate.

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Add titleEU travel certificates

If the EU can devise standard pet passports, it surely can develop standard vaccination ones.

The purpose is obviously to make it easier for people to travel between one EU country and another without having to carry wads of paperwork, frequent PCR testing or whatever else individual countries might want.

Why is this of interest to UK residents?

Because it makes business sense that whatever the UK comes up with is so similar that the documents could be almost interchangeable. Having two different sorts of certificate could be confusing and cause delays. Just as there are standardised passport formats around the world there ought to be a standardised certificate as well. But for a UK and an EU certificate to be accepted by both partners, development needs to work fast as approval by the two sides will take time.

The timeline is to have it ready by June which may be too late for use by UK residents who can travel overseas as from May 17th.

Both the UK and the EU digital certificates will have to meet data protection, security and privacy requirements and be difficult to forge. There will have to be paper or printable versions for those not having access to smart phones or computers and there will have to be some arrangement for those who are unable for medical reasons to be vaccinated. For those who choose not to be vaccinated what happens? Will they be denied entry?

The EU certificate will not just confirm that a person has been vaccinated. It will also show if they have recovered from the virus and/or that they have tested negative.

But there will be no centralised system. Each state can develop its own software although the EU will assist.

The plan is that the EU certificate will be free of charge, and include a QR code that can be read in the language of each citizen using it and translated into English.

Greece has taken the lead on pursing this idea and has talked to many other member states as well as the UK about it so it should not come as a surprise other to EU parliamentarians and to British MP’s. But, in case the EU doesn’t deliver the certification process in time, Greece plans to set up a bilateral arrangement. That might not please the Brussels bureaucrats but it does mean that Britons will at least be able to holiday in Greece.

In an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain thie morning, the Greek tourism minister – Harry Theoharis – said that if the EU system is not up and running in time then Greece will act unilaterally so that Britons can holiday in Greece with as little inconvenience as possible.

Will Spain, Portugal. Malta and other countries that heavily rely on British tourists in the summer follow suit if the EU is tardy in accepting British certificates or its won??

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