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EU lawmakers want “COVID-19 certificate” to guarantee free movement

European Union
European Union

European lawmakers said on Thursday that the European Union’s (EU) planned “COVID-19 certificates” – and not “Digital Green Certificates” as proposed by the European Commission — aimed at facilitating travel across the bloc should be enough to enable free movement this summer.

On Thursday, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted their negotiating position on the Commission’s proposal, according to which EU member state governments should not impose quarantines, tests or self-isolation measures on certificate holders.

In its proposal presented in March, the Commission said the temporary system will be suspended once the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of the COVID-19 international health emergency. MEPs insisted on Thursday that the new “EU COVID-19 certificate” should be in place for a maximum of 12 months.

Following Wednesday’s vote, the results of which were announced on Thursday, negotiations between the European Parliament and the EU Council can start with the goal of having a deal approved in June, ahead of the summer season.

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The Commission proposed last month that the certificates should be given to EU residents who can prove they have been vaccinated as well as to those who have a recent negative test result or can prove they have recovered from the infection.

The MEPs stressed that the certificate should neither serve as a travel document nor become a precondition to exercise the right to free movement.

Those who are not vaccinated or cannot afford tests should be offered accessible, timely and free-of-charge tests, they added.

According to the Commission’s predictions, about 70 percent of the EU’s adult population is likely to be vaccinated by July.

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