“Green” Means “Go” – The European Commission has proposed a free, “Digital Green Certificate” that would serve as proof that a person has:
- been vaccinated against COVID-19, or
- received a recent negative test result, or
- recently recovered from COVID-19.
This temporary certificate would enable free movement of citizens within the European Union (EU) during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be used until the World Health Organization declares the pandemic over. The goal, says the Commission, is to build “a gateway to ensure all certificates can be verified across the EU and support Member States in the technical implementation of certificates.”
Designed as a provisional measure, it will be up to each of the 27 EU Member States to decide which travel restrictions to lift for travelers in general.
The Commission said in a press release that the certificate would also be issued to non-EU nationals who live in the EU and “visitors who have the right to travel to other EU Member States”. National authorities within each country, such as hospitals, test centers and health authorities, would be in charge of issuing the certificate.”
The digital certificate version can be stored on a mobile device and a paper version can be requested. Data will include name, date of birth, date of issuance, relevant information about vaccine / test / recovery and a unique identifier of the certificate.
The Commission says all personal health data remains with the Member State (country) that issues the Digital Green Certificate. A recent survey by Amadeus, a global leader in travel technology, revealed almost 75 percent of 9,000 travelers surveyed “would be happy to store health data electronically -- if it meant fewer face-to-face interactions at the airport.”
On Thursday 25 March, the European Parliament -- in a vote of 468 in favor, 203 against and 16 abstentions -- approved a “fast-track procedure” of the certificate to be ready by June. However, EU countries will need to put the technical standards in place to ensure each country’s computer systems can exchange information and the certificate protocols can be rolled out effectively.
The European Commission will help Member States develop software that authorities can use to check the QR codes to build a “gateway”, through which all certificate signatures can be verified across the EU.
Who Can I Contact for More Information?
NEI will continue to provide updates as the Digital Green Certificate is finalized by the European Commission and for other regions of the world as information becomes available.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to NEI’s Mollie Ivancic, VP International Services, your NEI Client Relations Manager, or your corporate travel provider.