EU to propose digital COVID-19 vaccine passports in March in time for summer

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The European Commission will present a proposal in March on creating an EU-wide digital COVID-19 vaccination passport that may allow Europeans to travel more freely over the peak summer holiday period.

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced the coming legislative proposal in a speech to German conservative lawmakers on Monday, providing a few more details in subsequent tweets.

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The “digital green pass” would provide proof that a person has been vaccinated, results of tests for those not yet vaccinated and information on recovery for people who have contracted COVID-19.

“The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad - for work or tourism,” she said in a tweet.

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EU leaders agreed last week to work on vaccine certificates, for which southern countries such as Spain and Greece are pushing to unlock tourism this summer.

However, a number of countries say it will first need to be established that vaccinated people cannot transmit the virus to others. Some countries, such as France and Belgium, also expressed concern that easing travel only for inoculated people would be unfair.

The Commission said it would seek to avoid discrimination against citizens who have not received a vaccine.

EU countries agreed in January on the basic data requirements of a vaccination certificate. A Commission spokesman said the EU executive would seek to coordinate on security standards and help connect the national health systems.

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