13 European countries agree on Digital Green Certificate criteria

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© Acropolis Museum Photograph: Nikos Daniilidis

Austria has agreed on the criteria for the “Digital Green Certificates” with 12 other European countries. Digital Green Certificates which is expected to facilitate the movement of tourists during the current time of pandemic and will allow international travel and tourism.

It is our goal to soon enable the use of a possibly single green passport at the EU level, Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger told the Austrian news agency APA.

The minister noted that this was a matter of survival for European tourism.

Greece, Croatia, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain in late March agreed on seven criteria for issuing a green passport.

The aim is to implement the “Digital Green Certificates” quickly and as uniformly as possible at European level, with a deadline of 1st June.

The green passport contains a QR code with information on whether its holder has been vaccinated, tested or has recovered from coronavirus. It enables simple and practical application in the EU, from check-ins at airports to visits to village pubs, Köstinger said.

Another goal is harmonising the application of the green passport with third countries.

The list of criteria for green passports has been submitted for control to the European Commission, which is expected to decide on their application in the coming days.

The aim is to implement the “Green Pass” quickly and as uniformly as possible at European level, with a deadline of 1st June.

Köstinger said as Austria was a country dependent on tourism, open borders were important.

No centralised database

Sensitive medical information on the holder of the green passport would stay in the country of origin and would not be stored centrally at EU level, due to data protection concerns.

No compulsory vaccination

Köstinger stressed there would be no possibility of “compulsory vaccination” and said those who had recovered or tested negative for the coronavirus will have equal status to people who had been vaccinated.

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