Europe

COVID-19 Certificates Will Not Help EU Fully Return to Normal by Summer, Commissioner Says

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – EU citizens will not be able to return to normal life fully by summer despite the introduction of coronavirus certificates as some restrictions will still remain, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said on Wednesday.

“Quite clearly, there is not going to be a return to normality by the summer. That means in order to combat the virus some measures will need to remain. But to enable EU citizens to travel around the European Union safely, we need reliable and interoperable documents,” Reynders said at the plenary session ahead of the European Parliament’s voting on the COVID-19 Digital Green Certificates.

The proposed tool will facilitate free movement around the European Union and, potentially, other countries, and will be available for free to everyone regardless of their vaccination status, the commissioner stated.

“This instrument will be issued and accepted by all member states so as to allow EU citizens to travel without hindrance or discrimination,” Reynders explained, noting that the certificate is also expected to help boost the economy and serve as the basis for an international solution.

According to the commissioner, the technical work on the instrument is “progressing well” and urged the parliament to take swift political action to ensure that it can be launched in the nearest future. He stressed that a EU-wide solution is needed to avoid proliferation of national tools and fragmentation within the EU.

“We need swift action to have reliable and secure tool in place as soon as possible. Time is of the essence. We need to ensure the rollout before summer,” he said.

The bill on the introduction of the digital COVID-19 certificates was proposed by the European Commission on 17 March. The document will contain information about vaccination status, PCR test results, or immunity after COVID-19 infection. The tool will be available through a QR-code or a mobile application.

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