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Digital Green Certificate: 13 EU States Agree on Common Criteria for Tourism

Photo source: Vienna International Airport / @flughafen_wien

Photo source: Vienna International Airport / @flughafen_wien

Thirteen European Union countries have agreed on criteria in relation to tourism for the creation of an EU “green pass” for travel, an announcement by the Austrian Tourism Ministry said on Monday.

The news comes after Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger held a virtual summit in late March with the tourism ministers of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, to discuss common priorities and clear criteria to accelerate the rollout of the planned Digital Green Certificate to be used across Europe for Covid-19 restriction-free travel.

On Monday, the 13 EU countries agreed that the digital green pass must be available by this June “at the latest” and that it must facilitate easier freedom of movement even during the ongoing pandemic.

The EU tourism ministers also agreed that:
– it must be ensured that all digital green certificates will have “equal treatment” and that there will be no discrimination
– all green digital certificates will be implemented with safe and user-friendly technology
– a cross-border solution will be developed to harmonise the application of the EU’s digital green certificate with third countries
– there will be a close cooperation with the travel and tourism industry for the introduction of the digital green certificates.

Austria has forwarded the list of common criteria for digital green certificates to the European Commission.

Green Pass: A matter of survival for European tourism

Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger. Photo source: bmlrt.gv.at © William Tadros

“The ‘green pass’ with just a glance will show with a uniform QR code if someone has been vaccinated, has recovered or been tested. This should be implemented in a simple and user-friendly way at European level,” Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger told Austrian news agency APA.

She added that the creation of the digital green certificate was a “matter of survival” for European tourism.

The Digital Green Certificate, which the European Commission is aiming to have ready by June, will include information on:

– whether a traveller has been vaccinated against Covid-19
– a Covid-19 test result
– recovery from a Covid-19 infection.

The aim is to facilitate safe and free movement inside the EU and support the much-needed recovery of the travel and tourism sector.

The Digital Green Certificate is planned to be available – free of charge – in digital or paper format. It will include a QR code to ensure security and authenticity of the certificate.

The certificate idea was initially tabled by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in January, with the aim to enable the restart of travel and support EU economies.

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  1. Jens Reply

    I wonder what happens with people who have antibodies when the ID is issued but then lose them over the summer. I support the idea, though, and I know it will be great for Greece.

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