Mariam Amini
EU Commission considers ‘Digital Green Pass’ to help restart travel
EU Commission considers ‘Digital Green Pass’ to help restart travel
Mariam Amini

The Covid-19 pandemic has halted travel like never. However, as the European Commission prepares to present plans for a ‘Digital Green Pass’, there finally seems to be some good news for the industry.

The new health pass would take the form of a digital certificate, allowing citizens to resume travel within the EU by indicating if the holder has tested negative or been vaccinated against the virus.

General information on the pandemic situation, as well as advice towards recovery will also be featured. Further details are due to be released on 17 March.

Hoping to assist cross-border tourism and revive the economy, the EU-wide certificate, if implemented, may even be used to grant entry to hospitality venues and attractions.

So far, it does not appear to be mandatory for travellers to obtain it. However, proposals for the pass have already faced concerns, mainly in regards to privacy and issues of discrimination.

Nevertheless, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen remains committed to the scheme, reassuring member states that “it will respect data protection, security and privacy”.

She continued: “The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans’ lives. The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad – for work or tourism”.

Similar plans are also being considered by the US and the UK, with both President Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson reviewing the feasibility of such a certificate.

These digitised ‘vaccine passports’ would certainly provide some relief from having to deal with the constantly changing rules and restrictions.

Such an initiative could not only offer a more streamlined and straightforward experience for travellers, but it may even lead to a swifter recovery for the whole industry once borders do start to reopen.