“Green” Prakash was eventually given a certificate of vaccination by 27 EU leaders, along with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced “News”. This is despite the fact that a country like France expressed strong reservations, arguing that the certificate could create an immunization compulsion, resulting in discrimination against citizens who did not do so.
Speaking after the summit of 27 EU member states, the German Chancellor stated that the leaders considered the certificates necessary, as well as that they would be ready within the next three months.
“Everyone agreed that we needed a digital vaccination certificate,” Merkel said, adding that it would take about three months to establish a basis for these documents. As he said, the digital certificate that would allow people to travel to Europe despite the epidemic would most likely be available before summer.
How will they work
According to previously available data, the vaccination certificate will be in the form of a QR code. Scanning this code will reveal all information about the vaccine, such as which vaccines were used and when, and whether both doses were given.
The digital vaccination certificate is expected to have the same format as the application of “The Commons Project”, which was introduced for coronus virus tests. With this application, airlines and organizations can confirm which passengers were tested and tested negative.
According to NYTimes, some airlines including United Airlines and JetBlue are already testing CommonPass, a health passport application of the Commons project.
The app allows passengers to obtain coronovirus test results from their healthcare providers and then gives them a confirmation code, which allows them to board other international flights. The vaccination certification system will work in a similar way.
Paul Mayer, chief executive of The Commons Project, said that those who have been vaccinated so far are often given a paper reminiscent of the “old yellow card” and that the new system will be able to create data from electronic medical records . Digital card.
An article in the Financial Times states that each country can set its own rules, such as vaccines to accept. The system will be in charge of securing the data and individuals will place their file in a digital wallet or QR code so that they can control who they share it with.
A Bloomberg report on the Commission’s strategy states that a protocol has already been established for issuing vaccination certificates. The vaccine certification protocol “can be identified and used in health systems in the European Union and advanced worldwide under the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO).”
Two important benefits
According to analysts, the vaccination certificate will have two important benefits. One is that quarantine measures will be taken for passengers who own it, while another is that there will be no need to show a negative coronavirus test.
In addition, the Greek government, which was one of the first countries to propose the creation of a European vaccination certificate, made it clear from the outset that it was not a passport in any way, but in this way a codification of the whole But in Europe, so that, when someone from one country to another country instead of taking the exam, can show the certificate and proceed with ease and less bureaucracy.
Which countries were in favor
Countries in the south of Europe, of course, whose economies are inextricably linked with tourism and, therefore, travel with Greece and Spain at first, were the ones who insist on rapidly adopting a pan-European vaccination certificate To facilitate the journey. .
Conversely, countries such as Germany and France have been more reluctant, arguing that the certificate may create an immunization obligation and therefore discriminate against those who either do not, because they refuse or simply because Because they won’t. It’s their turn (the latter was) one of the main arguments of French President Emanuel Macron).
According to the French Agency (AFP), the Greek government, which proposed to create a European vaccination certificate a month ago, has already signed a bilateral agreement with Israel, in order for Greece to travel between the two countries. Immunized citizens may be allowed. And Israel. The same, writes AFP, Cyprus is looking to do the same with both Israel and Malta.
Spain, Italy and Bulgaria have welcomed the certificate from the start, and some Nordic countries such as Sweden and Denmark have already announced an electronic certificate that will allow them to travel not only abroad but in sports and cultural activities Will also participate.
Even remote Iceland, which is not a member of the European Union but belongs to the Schengen area, is considering issuing digital vaccination certificates from January to facilitate travel.
Airline carriers want a “travel pass”
With the aim of resuming air travel and reviving the aviation sector, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on EU leaders to approve the travel pass.
According to a document in possession of EurActive, IATA calls on EU countries to formulate “border-based evidence-based sanctions”, calling on them to agree on the important role of secure digital solutions, such as That IATA travel pass. ».
The document has been signed by the IATA Vice President for Europe Rafael Schwartzman and addressed to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who reached into his hands before the “27” leaders’ teleconference.
The IATA claims that the travel pass will provide governments and officials, as well as passengers and crew, with the necessary assurance on the health status of the passengers.
In fact, this digital document proposed by the IATA will record and keep testing the status of the traveler’s vaccination, as well as the coronavirus and its results, so that the traveler can provide immediate information about their health in countries before entering their territory. .
It will be able to provide its holders directly with information about changes in legal terms and regulations that apply in countries, while “it will protect them from any fake certificates”.
IATA represents about 290 airlines and argues that restrictive measures can be reduced based on the assessment of health indicators by region. It promises to work with countries to create a roadmap to resume the journey.
The Prime Minister, Kyrikos Mitsotakis, reiterated his proposal to present the European Immunization Certificate at today’s 27th Teleconference.
The Prime Minister, according to government sources, noted that earlier decisions are better for the European Union, otherwise it is inevitable that the private sector will move in this direction.
According to the same sources, the Greek Prime Minister warned that “if we don’t do it as the European Union, someone else will do it instead of us, the biggest technology companies are likely”, while he clarified that he favors registration. Contains as little personal data as possible. Citizen.
Furthermore, citing his proposal, he reiterated that the certificate would not equal a health passport, but would instead “open a faster lane for travel, without restrictions due to clinical trials and mandatory quarantine.”
The Prime Minister also emphasized that the convenience of travel concerns not only the countries that receive large numbers of tourists, but also the aviation and hospitality sectors.
Von der Leyen: Europe to overtake Google, Apple
There is a need to work together to create a pan-European vaccination certificate, so that it is not done by Google or Apple, emphasized during the teleconference of the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.
The European official said that two US giants had already approached the World Health Organization to undertake the initiative and explained how problematic it would be for the personal health data of Europeans to be given to these companies.
The Chairman of the Commission even gave 3-4 months time to technically complete the project of mutual recognition of member states’ national certificates.
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