IATA has welcomed a decision by the European Parliament to harmonise its different institutions and make them work together on providing Covid-19 travel passes by June.
The vote yesterday to back the EU’s proposed Digital Green Certificate Regulation now means the European Parliament, Council and Commission can work together to get the travel-safe certificate scheme up and running.
The certificates would then allow free movement to resume in the EU, so opening up the continent’s tourism industry, and would also need to be accepted by non-EU states in reciprocal deals.
The parliament also passed a number of other clauses with the vote, including the new name of EU Covid-19 Certificate to ensure EU citizens understand it fully and that the certificate’s use will be restricted to during the pandemic only.
Free and accessible testing must also be available to EU citizens while anyone granted a certificate should be able to travel without needing to undergo further testing or quarantine.
IATA added with 72 per cent of people wanting to travel as soon as possible to visit friends and family, an agreement needs to be in place by mid-May to allow for any pilot testing before full implementation of the scheme in June.
The statement added: “The proposed amendments send a strong political message from the parliament on the urgency to restore free movement in the EU. This is not a privilege — it is a right as one of the pillars of the single market enshrined in the European treaties.
“Safely and swiftly re-establishing free movement is both possible and vitally important – not only for holidaymakers, but also for cross-border workers and citizens who will be able to visit their families more easily once the certificates are operational.
“Vaccination drives in Europe continue to gain momentum, with 26.5 per cent of EU citizens having received at least one dose, compared with 16 per cent four weeks ago.