Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Norway to Introduce Vaccine Passports Next Month

Norway has joined the list of Schengen Area Member States, which plan to restore travel to and from the country in time for summer 2021.

The Norwegian government has announced today that it plans to introduce vaccine certificates by early June in order to permit vaccinated Norwegian citizens and residents to enter and leave the country for non-essential purposes, reports.

The decision was revealed by the Prime Minister of the country Erna Solberg who also pointed out that the certificate will be verifiable and in compliance with the EU COVID-19 travel certificate, which the EU block plans to roll out by the end of June.

We can use such a certificate to open our society more and quicker,” Solberg said during a press conference announcing the certificates.

While she stressed that the certificate could at first be used for larger public events, cruises and package tours, she still pointed out that the government still does not have a full list of what it wants the certificate to be used for.

We do not currently have a complete list of what we want to use such a certificate for, but it can be used both to make exceptions from infection control rules in our own country and to travel to other countries,” she said.

So far, only 6.8 per cent of the Norwegian population have received the first dose of the vaccine against the virus, which is way lower than some other countries in the continent.

Yet, the country has one of the lowest rates of infections and deaths in Europe, mainly due to the tight measures that have been effective in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

Since the beginning of the year, several European countries have warned of their plans to start issuing vaccine certificates/passports, to those vaccinated, in a bid to restore travel within their territory, but also with the other EU and Schengen Area countries.

Denmark is one of the countries that has warned it will soon introduce the  COVID-19 vaccine passports for its citizens who receive the vaccine against the virus so that they can use those certificates to travel restriction-free to countries that ask for them. The certificate named the Coronapas, is expected to be launched on June 26.

On the other hand, since April 6, travellers from third countries have been allowed to enter Iceland for non-essential purposes if they prove that they have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus.

Greece, on the other hand, plans to reopen its borders to all vaccinated travellers and those who have recently recovered from the Coronavirus, starting from May 14.

In April last year, an EU official confirmed for that the COVID-19 test result and vaccination proof would be two main mandatory requirements to enter the EU and Schengen Area once the block would decide to reopen for travel.

While the Member States are all launching their own individual certificates, they will all align these documents with the EU’s warned COVID-19 travel certificate set to be launched by the end of next month.

As per travellers for citizens of countries outside the EU and Schengen Area, the EU Commission has proposed last Monday to the Member States to gradually start reopening the borders for arrivals from third countries, including tourists, who are vaccinated against the virus.

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