EU vaccine passports must prevent ‘discrimination’: European Commission

EU vaccine passports must prevent 'discrimination': European Commission
(Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)
Europeans may be able to travel more freely this summer with a proposed new vaccination passport. But the European Commission urges caution and calls for certificates to be free from 'discrimination'.

The so-called “digital green pass” provides proof that a person has been vaccinated – or test results if they haven’t received their doses yet. The plans have been laid in a bid to open up travel and help flailing economies.

“The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad – for work or tourism,” Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted.

However, in a draft document seen by Reuters, any future certificate must be free from discriminating information, such as whether people have been tested or have recovered.

The digital certificates are eagerly awaited by many countries in Europe, who rely on tourism and are hoping for an opening up this summer.

READ ALSO: Italy approves Covid-tested flights from US to Milan

But the European Commission clashed with some countries, including Germany, which claimed that vaccinations are not mandatory nor available to those who want it.

Angela Merkel told German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung: “First, it must actually be clearly resolved that vaccinated people are no longer infectious.”

“As long as the number of those who have been vaccinated is still so much smaller than the number who are waiting for vaccination, the state should not treat the two groups differently.”

READ ALSO: ‘Green pass’: European Commission to propose EU-wide vaccine passports for summer

President Macron also voiced concerns about the fairness of vaccine passports for young people at a virtual meeting of the member states.

Contained in the draft document, which aims to “facilitate free movement” during the pandemic, is a clause that states proof of vaccination should not discriminate against those who either refuse or are unable to access the doses, according to Reuters.

Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What does France’s ‘vaccine passport’ trial mean for travel in 2021?

What does this mean for those people who fall into this category? Can they still have a ‘Covid passport?

It’s still not clear and will come down to member states to decide how they enforce such a certificate – whether travel restrictions are lifted for those vaccinated is up to each country.

The news comes as pressure mounts for EU leaders amid criticisms of slow vaccine rollouts – it’s expected more answers come when they will discuss the proposal later in March.


Member comments

  1. What about our healthcare privacy? What else can the powers that be demand of us? None of these jabs have been tested long term and we have no way of knowing the long term affects. So many have caused some serious side effects. If you are young and want children, I would be leery of any o9f theses jabs. If you have a history of blood clots in your family, be leery of Astro-Zeneca. I believe all contain aborted fetal tissue. Be informed.

  2. Perhaps it would also be a good idea to include prior vaccinations against measles, TB, smallpox etc rather than just Covid-19, on any digital passport. In principle it is a good idea, but needs an element of diplomacy and long-term understanding if it is to really gain traction with the populations of Europe, or anywhere else for that matter.

  3. I respect Macron’s concerns, but my worry is exactly the opposite. I don’t mind seeing a small handful of older people get to move around and go on vacation a few months sooner while I stay at home; after all, the lockdown can be especially hard on them and they have less time to lose. But once most people are vaccinated, then the passport itself is a form a discrimination, and I fear that the few who remain will be marginalized – people like my relatives who have severe allergies and have been advised by medical professionals that it is not safe for them to receive the vaccine. I think we have to step away from the hysteria and remember that a vaccine is meant to establish herd immunity, and that as long as it does, it’s not necessary for every person to be vaccinated. I have travelled extensively in the EU and never once was I asked to prove my history of vaccination against small pox, polio or other diseases much deadlier than COVID19.

  4. It would be wonderful to have access to vaccine, so that we – those of us up sh.&t street – can contribute to the economy again….or at least have access to the Neustarthilfe if we can’t be vaccinated for another 6+ months.

    The situation is fast becoming ridiculous.

    So many people – who receive a monthly salary – are planning their next holidays. They aren’t always following the guidelines because they have nothing to lose (financially) and are selfish (morally).

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.