German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that European partners will launch a coronavirus vaccination passport “for the summer” that could make travel “possible” within the European Union (EU).
In the press conference that she offered at the end of the virtual summit of EU leaders, the chancellor explained that all the partners agreed on the development of a system that makes it possible to make compatible the different vaccination passports that the 27 are preparing.
The European Commission (EC) now has three months to define the technical conditions of this system and leaders trust that it will be operational “in the coming months” and “for the summer,” according to the chancellor.
This initiative could serve to restart international movements within the EU and possibly also with some “third countries”, said the Chancellor, who did not speak at any time about tourism.
Merkel acknowledged that while technical issues are resolved, the political details of these vaccination passports, still pending, will also have to be addressed.
He stressed, for example, that for immunized people to be allowed to travel first, for fairness, it must have been possible to offer the possibility of being vaccinated to all people. Any other option would be an injustice, he considered.
He also stressed that not only people with a vaccination passport will be able to travel and that this system would become another “complementary” option to allow safe international travel while controlling the spread of the coronavirus.
Currently, PCR tests, quarantines of at least five days and digital records are used mainly to allow follow-up in most EU countries.
Vaccines for the coronavirus, Merkel indicated in this regard, are not authorized for children under 18 years of age in the EU, so travel could not be limited to those inoculated.
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