The European Commission will present a legislative proposal to create a digital passport that will make it possible to resume travel by proving vaccination or the recovery of citizens.

The president of the community executive, Ursula von der Leyen, made the announcement on Twitter and said that the European Commission will “present this month a legislative proposal for a digital free pass”.

“The objective is to provide evidence that a person has been vaccinated, test results for those who have not yet managed to obtain a vaccine and information on the recovery of Covid-19”, said the official, thus following up on the intention that has been being discussed several weeks ago in the European Union (EU).

Ursula von der Leyen also guaranteed that this digital certificate “will respect data protection, security and privacy”.

The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, has stressed that the vaccine passport, will allow the “return to normality” of European citizens “in the best possible conditions ”.

“Today, more than ever, a common approach is needed regarding the movements of our citizens with security”, said Marta Temido.

Asked what information will be available on this digital instrument, Marta Temido explained that “it is clear that one of the aspects that such a document may refer to is the vaccination status” of the citizens, that is, “the circumstance that the person has or has not already been vaccinated”.

“But you can mention other important information, for example, about the circumstance that the person has already undergone a test [for diagnosis of Covid-19] and the result of that test or information about whether the person has already had Covid-19 or not. ”, she added.

For the minister, this digital vaccine passport is an “important tool” that will allow citizens to “face a world where Covid-19 circulates as a disease” but where it is intended “to return to normality (...) in the best possible conditions”.

European Commission Executive Vice-President Margaritis Schinas stressed, however, that it is not possible to provide information on the final project of this proposal, which will be formally presented by the community executive on 17 March.

Schinas explained that the concept of this “European product” will have a “strong digital component”, in which information will be available “such as vaccination [against Covid-19] or not, test results, recovery, safety issues, data privacy legislation and all necessary security requirements.

“We are aware of the enormous efforts and sacrifices that the European population is making at the moment. We know that they carry a huge burden on their shoulders, and we want to lighten that burden, we want to safely organise the opening of the European Union “, stressed the Executive Vice President.

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, underlined that the EU is waiting for “an increase in production” of vaccines against Covid-19.

“To date, 33 million doses have been administered, and at least 11 million Europeans have already been vaccinated”, she pointed out, then guaranteeing that the European Commission is working “to establish contacts with companies to try to increase vaccine capacity”.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister António Costa has said he hopes that the vaccine passport will be in place by the summer. This comes as the Ministry of Health reported that the country’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout is above the average pace in the EU. At the time of going to press, the ministry said Portugal has administered 7.5 doses per 100 inhabitants, compared to the EU average of 6.83.