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EU sets out virus pass plan to allow free travel by summer

by Assoicated Press
March 20, 2021

BRUSSELS (AP) The European Union’s executive body on Wednesday proposed the introduction of coronavirus passes to let its 450 million residents travel freely across the 27-nation bloc by the summer.

The plan, which will be discussed next week during a summit of EU leaders, foresees the creation of vaccine certificates aimed at facilitating travel from one member state to the other.

The topic has been discussed for weeks and proved to be a divisive topic. The travel industry and southern European countries dependent on tourism like Greece and Spain have been pushing for the quick introduction of the measure, which could help avoid quarantines and testing requirements.

But several member states, including France, argued that it would be premature and discriminatory to introduce such passes since a large majority of EU citizens haven’t had access to vaccines so far.

To secure the agreement of all member states, the European Commission proposed that its so-called Digital Green Certificates, which should be free of charge, would be delivered to EU residents who can prove they have been vaccinated, but also to those who tested negative for the virus or have proof they recovered from it.

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