"EU COVID-19 CERTIFICATE" NOW IN MOTION
As vaccination drives across Europe now continue to gain momentum, with 26.5% of EU citizens having received at least one dose, compared to 16% four weeks ago, the European Parliament has just approved a measure that aims to restore free movement within the EU.
Europe’s aviation, travel and tourism sector led by Airlines for Europe (A4E) - Europe’s largest airline association - fully welcomed this vote.
The passing of this important legislation is expected to initiate urgent trialogue negotiations between the European Parliament, Council, and Commission which now accept that safely and swiftly re-establishing free movement is both possible and vitally important - not only for holidaymakers but also for cross-border workers and citizens who will be able to visit their families more easily once the certificates are operational.
In addition, multiple studies have proven that travel has positive effects on mental and physical health thanks to human and nature connections, boosting people’s energy and relieving stress and anxiety. In fact, a recent IATA survey shows that 72% of people want to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible.
The Parliament position also brings forward important changes not stated in the original proposal; now including the following: 1.) A new name, which is “EU COVID-19 Certificate” has been agreed to make it clearer to EU citizens; 2.) Free and accessible testing (since such high testing costs could become a deterrent to travel – in particular among families); and full equality among vaccinated and tested citizens.
These proposed amendments send a strong political message from the Parliament on the urgency to restore free movement all across the EU.
Proponents of this measure argue that travel is not a privilege, and that it is a right as one of the pillars of the single market enshrined in the spirit of the European treaty.
The proposal also ensures that no additional measures such as quarantine or further testing should be imposed on travelers presenting a valid “EU COVID-19 Certificate”.