The European Commission has announced its plans for a certificate which will allow for travel to take place across the bloc this summer.
The Digital Green Certificate will facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the pandemic.
It can be used as proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus.
The pass will be available in digital or paper format for free to all EU citizens and is expected to be ready before the summer.
The EU will build a gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified across Europe but it will be the responsibility of each individual country to decide which public health restrictions can be waived for travellers.
The pass will cover three types of documents –vaccination certificates, test certificates (NAAT/RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test), and certificates for people who have recovered from COVID-19.
This reflects the aim of the pass to not discriminate against people who have not yet received the vaccine.
We are proposing to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the pandemic.
The certificate will:
✅ Be accessible and secure for all EU citizens
✅ Be non-discriminatory
✅ Contain only essential information#StrongerTogether
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) March 17, 2021
Announcing the details of the plan today, the Commission said the pass will only contain essential information and secure personal data, such as name, date of birth, date of issuance, relevant information about vaccine/test/recovery and a unique identifier of the certificate.
The Certificate will be valid in all EU Member States and open for Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway as well as Switzerland.
It can also be issued to non-EU nationals who reside in the EU and to visitors who have the right to travel to other Member States.
The system is a temporary measure and will be suspended once the global pandemic is declared as over by the WHO.
The EU hopes to have the certificate ready before the summer, but this will require a "swift" adoption of the proposal by the European Parliament and the Council.
Main image: Tourists enjoy the sun on the sand beach of Puerto del Carmen on the Canary Island Lanzarote. Photo: Peter Zimmermann