EU digital health pass for summer travel available from June 15
The voluntary ‘Digital Green Certificate’ will be in the form of a scannable QR code to enable travel between EU countries this summer and beyond
The EU health pass, which will help facilitate travel between EU countries should be available by June 15, it has been announced.
The European Commissioner for Internal Markets, Thierry Breton, unveiled the format of the pass and outlined the information it would contain during an interview on Grand Jury RTL – Le Figaro – LCI on March 28.
He said: “It has your name, date of birth, passport number, whether you have been vaccinated or not, the type of vaccine you had, and if you have already had Covid-19.”
“For people who have not had the vaccine or the virus, and who can take a PCR test, it will have the results from your PCR test.”
It will be in the format of a scannable QR code, and will be available in all EU languages.
An image of the EU mobile health pass (Marie Chantrait / @ mchantrait / Twitter)
In France, it will be available via the health ministry website.
The pass is intended to be a provisional measure until the World Health Organisation says the pandemic is over.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said last week: “We want to help member states re-establish freedom of movement in a safe and responsible way which gives confidence.”
Pass linked to EU vaccination campaign
Mr Breton said that the pass should be available from mid-June as most people in Europe should have had access to a vaccine by this stage.
He said: “From the moment when we can be sure that every European that wants to be vaccinated has had equal access to the vaccine, as will be the case in the next two or three months, it would be a good idea to have a health certificate that shows people’s status.”
Mr Breton has previously said that Europe would have the “capacity for collective immunity” by July 14, through vaccination efforts.
The European Commission has also said that 420 million vaccine doses will have been delivered to the EU by mid-July.
Rules will vary in different EU countries
Some member states have been opposed to the idea of a passport on the basis that it could discriminate against people who have not been vaccinated.
Even with the pass people who have not been vaccinated, whether by choice or because they have not been offered a vaccine yet, may still have to follow measures such as quarantine if they travel.
But states that impose quarantines, tests or refuse entry to people with the pass will have to justify such measures to EU authorities.
Member states will decide themselves whether they wish to use the pass as more than a travel document, to give access to public spaces such as restaurants for example.
States will also be able to decide whether they wish to accept people who have had vaccinations that are not currently approved by the EU such as the Russian Sputnik V and the Chinese Sinopharm.
As there have been concerns over making sensitive health data available via the pass, EU officials have said data contained in the pass will have a “very high level of protection”, and will not be able to be stored by destination countries.