Digital certificate should help resume EU travel, says Von der Leyen

Brussels, Mar 17 (efe-epa).- The president of the European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen said she hopes travel within the EU can resume thanks to the digital certificate that was presented on Wednesday.

“We aim to help member states reinstate (…) freedom of movement in a safe, responsible and trusted manner,” Von der Leyen told a press conference.

The free certificate will show whether the holder has been vaccinated, produced a negative coronavirus test or recovered from the virus, she added.

The certificate is a proposal to help the beleaguered travel sector in Europe, which has been severely damaged by the pandemic restrictions.

Brussels will ask the bloc governments to exempt certificate holders from the mandatory quarantine or undergoing a PCR test upon arrival.

The certificate, known in the media as a coronavirus passport, will not only serve for flights, but also for those traveling by car or other means, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said.

Brussels does not propose the use of the certificate, which will be in place until the World Health Organization declares the end of the pandemic, for other purposes than traveling, Reynders added.

Some states such as France or Belgium have expressed their reticence towards the certificate, arguing that it would discriminate against those who have not been inoculated.

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has also said that the document should not be used to facilitate travel until most of the population had the chance to get vaccinated.

Other question marks have been raised around the duration of immunity provided by the vaccine and whether inoculated people can transmit the virus to others.

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