Portuguese PM hopes EU Covid-19 vaccine passport in place by summer as bloc split on travel restart

The EU hopes to have Covid-19 vaccine passports ready for use by this summer, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Friday, as optimism grows among some European nations for the restart of international travel.

“We are defendants of a measure on European scale, and it is with this objective that we work as presidents with the European Commission,” the PM said after a virtual meeting of the European Council.

“The hope we all have is that by the summer it will be possible for this document to exist.”

The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, is currently working on a digital document that will allow people to show they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and have tested negative for the virus.

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Iceland and Bahrain have already introduced vaccine certification, while Thailand, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Hungary are all planning to launch passports.

Greece, Spain, Austria and Bulgaria have all backed an EU certificate, but other nations, including France, Belgium and the UK, have raised ethical concerns that the passes may discriminate against those who have not been vaccinated.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed on Thursday after a European Council meeting that an EU vaccine passport is in the pipeline and should be ready by summer.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents over 290 airlines, is also reported to have called on the bloc to introduce such documentation.

In a letter to Brussels on Thursday, the association urged European leaders to adopt a scheme such as its own “Travel Pass,” which allows travelers’ health details to be rapidly shared with governments.

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Source:RT World News

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