EU Launches Digital COVID Certificate for Safe Travel
The European Union (EU) has launched a digital COVID certificate, also known as a “Green Pass,” to facilitate safe travel within the bloc during the pandemic. The certificate provides proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from the virus, or has recently tested negative.
The Green Pass, which can be downloaded on a smartphone or printed on paper, is valid in all 27 EU member states, as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The certificate is free of charge and available in all EU languages, making it accessible to all EU citizens and residents.
The certificate is part of the EU’s efforts to reopen travel and tourism within the bloc, which has been severely impacted by the pandemic. The Green Pass is intended to make travel easier and safer by reducing the need for quarantine or additional testing upon arrival in another EU country.
The EU has emphasized that the certificate is not a requirement for travel within the bloc, but rather a tool to facilitate travel and reduce the spread of the virus. However, some EU member states, such as Greece and Spain, have already announced plans to make the certificate mandatory for certain activities, such as attending concerts or visiting museums.
The launch of the Green Pass comes as the EU aims to vaccinate 70% of its adult population by the end of the summer. The bloc has faced challenges in its vaccination rollout, but has made progress in recent months, with over 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered as of June 2021.