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16 June, 2021
 
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EU nips green pass debate in the bud

Brussels expected to defer key details to member states in vaccine travel certificate

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The EU's plan to get people traveling again with a Green Pass is expected to defer to member states on key decisions, such as whether to accept Russian and Chinese vaccines in the program.

Brussels was set to present a proposal for an EU-wide vaccination certificate on Wednesday, in a bid to boost the bloc’s tourism industry amid fierce debate over what a vaccination certificate should entail.

According to Politico, the European Commission was ready to propose that any EU country allowing vaccinated people to skip pandemic-related travel restrictions, such as testing or self-isolation, must accept other countries’ vaccination certificates “under the same conditions.”

That obligation ought to extend only to EU-approved COVID-19 vaccines, effectively leaving Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinopharm vaccines out of the mix, according to the draft proposal.

'This should not prevent Member States from deciding to accept vaccination certificates issued for other COVID-19 vaccines,' such as Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinopharm vaccines

But based on Politico’s report, the draft proposal would also provide that “EU countries can choose to accept Russian and Chinese vaccines at their own discretion.”

“This should not prevent Member States from deciding to accept vaccination certificates issued for other COVID-19 vaccines,” the draft reads according to Politico. 

The Republic of Cyprus decided this week to buy the Russian vaccine, with government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos clarifying the administration would proceed with the purchase of 50,000 doses once the shot gets a European Medicines Agency approval.

The vaccination travel certificate, known as a digital Green Pass, is expected to show whether someone has been vaccinated with an EMA-approved jab, raising questions about thousands of Europeans who have already been inoculated with a Russian or Chinese vaccine, neither of which have been given the green light by the EMA.

The digital passport will also show any negative results received from COVID-19 tests, as well as those who have previously recovered from the virus.

Reports said a digital passport could consist of a QR code on a person’s smartphone or possibly another device or even a printed version.

But no data will be made available to national authorities beyond necessary information about the travelers and their COVID status, reports said.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  EU  |  green pass  |  travel  |  vaccination certificate  |  Russia  |  China  |  tourism  |  Brussels

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