Airlines Might Check New EU COVID-19 Pass Before Onboarding Travelers

Source: diy13, Shutterstock

Summary

  • European Union (EU) plans to roll out a digital travel certificate to start foreign travel for all EU citizens.
  • The certificate would be valid till WHO confirms the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The objective of the certificate rollout is to kick-start the hard-hit travel sector.

Last month, the EU had disclosed its plans to roll out digital travel certificate shortly to allow foreign travel for all EU citizens. The proposed COVID travel certificate would contain information on vaccination, test, or recovery. The certificate would be valid unless WHO confirms that the pandemic has ended. The statement was given by Didier Reynders, EU Justice Commissioner.

Airlines could check EU COVID certificates before allowing onboarding (Source: © Photoboyko | Megapixl.com)        

As per the Reuters report released on 13 April, airlines might start checking these certificates before allowing passengers going on summer holidays to onboard the place. The main objective is to resume the travel sector hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Reynders stated that he wants to assure the citizens and the member states a tool that would provide the required confidence and trust. Authorities would be able to rely on this tool to allow free movement.

Further, during the onboarding process, the airline companies can verify the certificate’s validity during check-in.

Mr Reynders also emphasized that the certificate did not amount to a vaccination passport as getting vaccinated doesn’t allow people the right to travel freely.

As per the plans, 27 nations in the bloc would have to honor EU-approved vaccination but can choose to accept Russia’s Sputnik V.

Vaccine manufacturers whose vaccines are approved in the EU include:

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Major Concerns

  • EU lawmakers on the travel plans raised concerns related to privacy issues and possibilities of checking several certificates of people crossing borders via truck and cars daily in the bloc’s open travel zone, which is overlapped by separate health and public safety control on movement.
  • Another challenge was related to the clarity on the duration of Sputnik V’s immunity.

Upcoming plans

As per a report released by Bloomberg, the EU government would plan to sort out an agreement regarding the technical specification related to the coronavirus passport aimed at rescuing the summer tourist season in the region.

EU states disagreed over the passes and the privileges they should communicate, and diplomats must reach the same page before negotiations start with the EU lawmaker. The discussion comes after the delayed rollout of Johnson & Johnson delayed rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine because of the pending review of the rare blood clotting.   

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