Key questions answered on vaccine certificates for international travel

Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent
·2-min read

The European Union is proposing the launch of a coronavirus vaccine certificate scheme to enable the resumption of international travel.

Here the PA news agency looks at 10 key questions about the announcement:

– What is the EU proposing?

Greece is among the countries which will require evidence of travellers' coronavirus vaccine or test status when it reopens its borders this summer (Steve Parsons/PA)
Greece is among the countries which will require evidence of travellers’ coronavirus vaccine or test status when it reopens its borders this summer (Steve Parsons/PA)

It is considering introducing Digital Green Certificates to enable passengers to prove they have received a coronavirus vaccine, had a recent negative test result or recovered from the virus.

– Why is it doing this?

Many nations have said they will require foreign tourists to have evidence of their status on those processes before they are allowed entry.

– How does this affect the UK?

Digital Green Certificates are being launched to enable travel between EU members.

But it could also be used by nations who want to allow visitors from countries outside the bloc, such as the UK.

– Why are some people opposed to these so-called coronavirus passports?

Concerns have been raised that people unable or unwilling to be vaccinated will be discriminated against.

– How will the certificates be issued?

They will be available in digital form or on paper.

Both will have a QR code that can be scanned to check authenticity.

– When will they be ready?

The proposal will need “swift adoption” by the European Parliament and the European Council if the certificates are to be ready for this summer, the European Commission said.

– How much will they cost?

They will be free for people living in the EU.

It is not known whether those outside the bloc will be charged.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

– How do I apply?

That is currently unclear.

The certificates will be issued by health authorities.

– Are there any alternatives?

Airline trade body the International Air Transport Association is trialling a Travel Pass, which could enable passengers to prove their vaccination and test status.

– What is the UK’s position?

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is heading up a review into “Covid status certificates”.