EU to Propose Vaccine ‘Green Pass’

The Lombardy region where Milan is located is heading toward a partial lockdown on Monday after Mayor Giuseppe Sala said he was disturbed by scenes of people gathering in public places, often with their masks down. This Saturday photo show police officers known as carabinieri patrolling Milan’s Naviglio Grande canal. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

BRUSSELS (AFP) — The European Commission will propose rules for an EU vaccine “green pass” this month, as the bloc prepares to ramp up immunization drives, commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Monday.

“We’ll present this month a legislative proposal for a Digital Green Pass,” she tweeted, explaining it would aim to provide proof both of vaccination and of Covid test results.

The pass would allow people to gradually “move safely in the European Union or abroad — for work or tourism.”

Separately, in a meeting with German MEPs and MPs, von der Leyen said her EU executive would “in coming months” seek to create a technical base for the digital certificate so it is accepted across all 27 member countries.

Von der Leyen said after an EU video summit last week on the issue that the vaccine certificate could only be launched in three months’ time, and that the pass would uphold data protection standards.

The “green pass” term she used is the same employed by Israel — the world’s vaccination champion — for a digital or paper document proving the bearer has been inoculated and can therefore enter entertainment, sporting and dining venues.

There is a big debate in the EU, however, over how such a European green pass might be used. 

Tourist-dependent countries, such as Greece, and airline lobby groups want the document to serve as a “vaccine passport,” allowing immunized people to avoid tests or quarantine when travelling.

But most EU countries, led by France and Germany, believe it is premature for that. 

They fear it would create a two-tier society where inoculated people enjoy a restriction-free life while the majority, waiting for their jab, continue to have their activities curtailed.

© Agence France-Presse

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