NEWS

‘Green passport’ scheme for Covid-free EU travel gathers pace

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Greece and another 12 European Union member-states have agreed on the outlines of a scheme aimed at ensuring safe travel and boosting tourism within the bloc following last year’s poor summer season, Austria Press Agency reported on Monday.

According to the report, Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Kostinger said that the member-states hammered out the details of a proposal for a “green passport” first introduced earlier this year and will forward them to the European Commission for approval, with an eye to a launch by June at the latest.

She explained that the scheme consists of a certificate confirming that travelers are “Covid-free” by producing evidence of proper vaccination against the novel coronavirus, having recently recovered from the infection and been given a clean bill of health, or having recently tested negative for the virus.

According to the report, the information will be stored on a QR code linked to a national rather than a shared system that could raise questions about data protection violations.

Apart from Greece and Austria, the scheme also includes Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.