In a tweet, Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission (EC) President, who is leading the charge on the digital certificates, said that the Digital Green Pass aims to provide proof that a person has been vaccinated, offer results of tests for those who couldn’t get a vaccine yet and include info on Covid-19 recovery, as well as respecting data protection, security and privacy. And it seems the EC is poised to get the new platform rolled out ready for the summer.
“The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans’ lives,” der Leyen said, earlier in March. “The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad – for work or tourism.”
The Digital Green Pass – accessible to EU citizens
As per the 17 March press conference addressing how the EU would begin to facilitate the ‘freedom of movement in a safe, responsible and trusted manner’, der Leyen explained that the main part of the discussion was around the regulation of the new digital certificate, which would be free of charge, bilingual, interoperable, secure, non-discriminatory and available in digital and physical format via QR code to EU citizens.
In addition, der Leyen told press that the vaccination certificates would be based on jabs approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), with the option for specific EU states to decide whether or not they would accept vaccines that were not given the green light by EMA – crucial, as different countries have approved different vaccinations for fast rollout, especially beyond the EU.
“Where member states accept proof of vaccination to waive certain public health restrictions such as testing or quarantine, they would be required to accept, under the same conditions, vaccination certificates issued under the Digital Green Certificate system,” the EC said in a statement. “This obligation would be limited to vaccines that have received EU-wide marketing authorisation, but member states can decide to accept other vaccines in addition.”
The EC notes that should a member state decide to mandate quarantining or testing for holders of a Digital Green Certificate, it must notify the Commission and all other member states, explaining the reasoning behind these measures. Besides the current EU member states, the Certificate will also include non-EU countries, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and , but not the UK.
While the UK is no longer part of the EU, it seems that European countries such as Greece still plan to welcome in UK tourists this summer.