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EU reaches agreement on COVID-19 vaccine passports for summer travel restart

EU reaches agreement on COVID-19 test and vaccine passports for summer travel restart
EU reaches agreement on COVID-19 test and vaccine passports for summer travel restart
Written by Harry Johnson

EU members agree on ‘vaccine passports’, that would allow the free movement of tourists among the 27 European Union member countries this summer.

  • All European Union member states will accept the vaccine passport
  • The vaccine passport will show whether people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus
  • EU countries should not impose additional travel measures such as quarantines

The European Union governing body announced that after a fourth round of negotiations, EU member states have reached an interim agreement on a digital COVID-19 certificate, also known as ‘vaccine passport’, that would allow the free movement of tourists among the 27 European Union member countries this summer.

All European Union member states will accept the vaccine passport, valid for 12 months, although it will not be a prerequisite for free movement, according to a statement from the European Parliament.

Under the terms of the agreement, EU countries should not impose additional travel measures such as quarantines “unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health,” lawmakers said.

The vaccine passport will show whether people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus and if they’ve recently tested negative or recovered from COVID-19 infection.

All European Union member countries must accept EU-approved vaccines under the deal, while it is up to each nation whether to allow the entry of travelers vaccinated with vaccines that haven’t yet been approved by the bloc’s drugs regulator.

The European Commission has also pledged to make at least €100 million ($122 million) available so “affordable and accessible testing” becomes more widely available.

Some non-EU countries, including Israel, have launched their own COVID-19 travel documents.

Meanwhile, in United Kingdom, people wanting to travel can demonstrate they have received both vaccine doses via a National Health Service (NHS) app.