Few signs that EU health passports can be ready before July

The main reason is that technically, the project is faced with a number of challenges due to the different infrastructures in EU countries. [Shutterstock/ travelwild]

Diplomatic sources have told EURACTIV that “realistically” one should not expect the EU Green Pass, a health certificate aimed to facilitate travel across the bloc, to be implemented before July. The main reason is that technically, the project faces a number of challenges due to the different infrastructures in EU countries. “The interoperability of the project is a difficult task”, diplomatic sources said.

Another reason is the legislative process that needs to be followed, as the EU Green Pass is a proposal for regulation and therefore has to go through national parliaments too. Last but not least, EU member states also need to decide on its final use. There are countries willing to use it only for travel reasons while others also want to expand it to activities such as entering a museum or a cinema.

In this case, the Commission’s proposal offers flexibility. “If a country decides to it use for other purposes too, then it will be up to national courts to rule on its legality,” Commission sources have said.

Portugal’s EU Presidency has said it will do everything to have the health passport in place by June. The health passport is particularly important for tourist countries such as Spain and Greece to save next summer season.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Estonia is planning to start issuing digital vaccination certificates in April, Kalle Killar, undersecretary for e-health and innovation at the ministry said on Wednesday.

Killar said the digital certificates would help people both for travelling and in their everyday life and would be both easier to verify and more secure than paper ones.

He added that a global vaccination certificate, which the Estonian government is working on with the World Health Organisation (WHO), would likely take years to develop.

(Sarantis Michalopoulos | EURACTIV.com)

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