The ‘interoperable’ certificates would providing evidence that a person has been vaccinated or has negative RT-PCR test against Covid-19. The pass would include information on the brand of the vaccine, data and place of inoculation and the number of doses administered, as well as attest from a lab or hospital of a negative PCR test. Holders of the certificate (a QR code on a phone app or on paper) would be exempted from quarantine and other restrictions. While the document would be common to all EU citizens, it will be up to member countries to decide on how to use it.
The Commission is also working with the WHO and ICAO the international air travel organization to ensure that the ‘green pass’ would also get international recognition. In the meantime it would also allow bi-lateral deals of EU countries with non-member states provided that these would be approved by the Commission.
Countries have different reactions according to their needs and to their population’s confidence rate in vaccination. Greece and Spain are eager to use it to reopen their tourism economy while France has a poor uptake of the vaccine and close to half of the population is hesitant to take the vaccine. Many also find that there is not enough data on the vaccines and that it’s too early to issue such a certificate. There is still uncertainty about whether the vaccine can actually stop the disease from spreading.
But several countries in Europe are reinstating lockdown and restrictions in fear of a third wave and vaccination and the green pass are presented as the ‘only way out’ of the pandemic. While presented as a temporary measure, many believe that the pass will remain in place after the pandemic is over.
The proposal is rushed in a week for an emergency vote by the European Parliament and the Member states. One can only wonder how legislators can decide on such an important issue that breaches the fundamental principles of the treaty of the European Union and violates the individual rights of its citizens without any amendments or debate.