Clock is ticking for EU vaccine certificates as summer looms

Brussels, May 11 (BNA): As strict lockdowns are loosened across Europe and many EU citizens dream about holidays in the sun, the 27-nation bloc has yet to agree on how to quickly implement a virus certificate scheme to boost summer travel and tourism.


European affairs ministers gathered Tuesday in Brussels to assess progress in discussions with European lawmakers and expressed their optimism that trans-border travel passes will be approved soon, said AP.


A deal between the Parliament and EU countries is required in May to ensure the system facilitating free movement within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic will be up and running by the end of June, but several sticking points remain.


When it proposed the scheme in March, the EU Commission said coronavirus certificates would be given to EU residents who can prove they have been vaccinated or those who tested negative for the virus or have proof they recovered from it.


EU lawmakers and nations agree on that, but the Parliament insists that COVID-19 certificates should be enough to allow EU citizens to move about freely and that EU countries shouldn’t be allowed to impose extra restrictions on certificate holders such as quarantines, tests or self-isolation measures.


That’s a major roadblock, since border controls are a national responsibility.


The European Commission hopes that about 70% of the EU’s adult population will be vaccinated by the end of the summer.




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