Thursday, May 27, 2021

European Travel & Tourism Sector Welcomes Adoption of EU COVID-19 Passport

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance, consisting of more than 60 travel and tourism organisations, has welcomed the adoption of the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate Regulation.

At the same time, the Alliance has made a call on the Member States to ensure prompt implementation before July in order to support the restart of the sector just in time for summer and restore freedom of movement within the European Union and Schengen Area, reports.

After less than three months from the publication of the EU Commission’s proposal to create a digital certificate, the EU Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee and the Council have approved the Regulation.

“The agreement reached at EU level on Digital COVID Certificate is a step towards the reintroduction of Schengen and the freedom of movement throughout the EU. Europeans are looking forward to cross-border travel this summer, whether for visiting families and friends, leisure or business. We call on the Member States to urgently implement the Certificate and refrain from adding travel requirements for Certificate holders if the epidemiological situation continues improving,” the statement of Tourism Manifesto Alliance reads.

As a common instrument within the EU, the COVID-19 passport will provide easily accessible proof on the vaccination status of the holder, more precisely whether the holder has been vaccinated against the Coronavirus, recovered from the virus or received a negative test result.

Furthermore, the Alliance urges the Member States to ensure that the Certificate will be implemented by July 1 at the latest and refrain from imposing any additional restrictions on certificate holders. The travel and tourism stakeholders also stressed that any delay in adopting the Certificate will reduce the chances of successfully recovering the sector.

The reopening of travel and tourism activities is supported by the latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control as the vaccine roll-out is accelerating, which shows around 46 per cent of adults in the EU have received the first dose of the vaccine until May 25.

Additionally, the Alliance also welcomes the agreement between the EU institutions to make €100 million available from the Emergency Support Instrument, which allows the Member States to purchase COVID-19 tests and offer accessible and free of charge tests to citizens of the EU.

Although the Alliance is confident that the EU COVID-19 passport will support reopening, Member States still need to cooperate and reach an agreement on the following points:

  • Standard time limits for COVID-19 testing requirements
  • Harmonised minimum age for children required to provide a negative test result
  • No additional requirements for passengers transiting through different countries
  • Prompt adoption of the European Digital Passenger Locator Form

Previously, the EU Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate, assuring that the Certificate will be ready by the end of June.

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