A so-called “green pass”, or vaccine passport, will have limited scope, according to a new agreement by the 27 member-states of the European Union.
EU members agreed that the vaccination certificate would not allow carte blanche travel across the European Union and stated that national governments would be allowed to restrict travel to stop the spread of the Chinese virus.
The agreement states that “the use of the digital green certificate with a view to lifting restrictions should remain the responsibility of the member states” and argues that the certificate should not be a travel document in order to “reinforce the principle of non-discrimination, in particular, towards unvaccinated persons”, newspaper El Paìs reports.
The new proposal for the green pass would also introduce an expiration date for the green pass for 12 months from June 2021, when it is expected that the green pass will be approved.
The European Commission unveiled its proposal for a coronavirus vaccine passport scheme on Wednesday, with the hopes of opening up travel within the bloc by the summer. https://t.co/7meenC1I1j
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 19, 2021
Previously, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had expressed a desire to use the pass longer, or even change it to adapt to future pandemics. Others in the Commission stated the pass should be in force until the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) declares the pandemic at an end.
The Council of the European Union, which is comprised of government ministers from member-states’ national governments — and is not to be confused with the European Council or the Council of Europe — disagreed that external bodies such as the WHO should have such a direct say in the affairs of the member-states or of the European Union.
While the proposal has passed the Council of the European Union, it must now go to the European Parliament, where it will need to meet with approval.
It comes as several other countries have reacted negatively to the idea of vaccination passports, including the United Kingdoom, where the opposition Labour Party will reportedly be voting against the domestic use of immunity certificates — along with only 40 or so MPs from the governing Conservative Party, who will rebel against the party leadership over their use.
In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, owners of restaurants, nightclubs, and other venues stated that they would refuse to recognise the vaccine passports even if the government mandated them.
‘We Won’t be Doing it’: Hospitality Firms Reject Boris Johnson’s Vaccine Passport Scheme https://t.co/ZWzyCAUJfF
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 14, 2021