EU says vaccine passports should allow summer holidays this year

European politicians have said that Covid-19 certificates, designed to make traveling around the EU easier, should be enough to move around freely this summer.

Your position is likely to clash with the prerogatives of the Member States in the forthcoming negotiations.

In their negotiating position on the European Commission’s proposal, EU lawmakers said that EU governments should not impose quarantines, tests or self-isolation measures on certificate holders.

The EU executive proposed last month that the certificates be delivered to EU citizens who can show they have been vaccinated, as well as those who have tested negative for the virus or can show they have recovered from it.

The Commission’s aim is to encourage travel from one Member State to another during the pandemic. However, since border control is a matter for the Member States, each of the 27 EU countries remains entitled to add additional requirements for granting access to its land.

“What is the point of having a common European system if the member states can ignore the certificate at any time and impose additional restrictions?” said the politician Sophie in ‘t Veld during the debate. “Citizens want their rights, they want their freedom, they want to travel.”

After Wednesday’s vote, the results of which were announced on Thursday, negotiations between the European Parliament and the EU Council can begin with the aim of approving an agreement in June before the summer season.

In their resolution, EU politicians added that Member States should “ensure universal, accessible, timely and free testing” in order to avoid discrimination against those who have not yet been vaccinated and who will travel on the basis of PCR tests. The Commission predicts that around 70% of the EU adult population will be vaccinated by the end of summer.

In March, the Commission proposed suspending the certificates as soon as the World Health Organization declares the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. Legislators said they should be in force for a maximum of 12 months and “neither serve as a travel document nor become a requirement for exercising the right to free movement”.

“Member States need to coordinate their response in a safe way and ensure the free movement of citizens within the EU,” said Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties. “Vaccines and tests must be available and free to all citizens.”

On the list of vaccines that could be included in the system, politicians agreed with the Commission’s proposal that all stamped vaccines by the European Medicines Agency should be automatically recognized.

They also gave EU countries the opportunity to include other emergency vaccines listed by the World Health Organization.

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