EU inches closer to Covid certificate for travel
The European Parliament on Thursday agreed its position on how a Covid certificate should work, bringing the EU closer to launching a document to open up travel within the bloc, AFP reports.
Europe intends to have a certificate showing the bearer's vaccination status, Covid test results and/or evidence of having survived the disease up and running in June, in time for the continent's summer vacation period.
While technical work has been ongoing to ensure the certificate is recognised across all 27 EU member states, final details have to be worked out involving capitals, the European Commission and the parliament.
The first change MEPs have called for to a commission proposal is the name. Instead of a "digital green certificate" they want to call it an "EU Covid-19 certificate" -- to avoid any implication of it becoming a "vaccine passport".
They said the document should "neither serve as travel document nor become a precondition to exercise the right to free movement" and should only be in use for 12 months.
Stressing that the certificate should not result in discrimination, parliament demanded that Covid-19 tests for travel should be free of charge. The commission has said that this issue should be left up to member states.
The parliament's negotiation position was announced Thursday following a vote late Wednesday, with 540 MEPs in favour, 119 against, and 31 abstentions.