In a vote held on 8 June in Strasbourg, but the result of which was only released on 9 June - due to the remote counting of votes, as the plenary session is held in a hybrid format - the assembly gave its ‘green light’ to the certified with 546 votes in favour, 93 against and 51 abstentions.
After, in mid-May, the negotiators of the Portuguese presidency of the EU Council and the European Parliament reached a political agreement on the certificate, proposed by the European Commission last March, the approval by the assembly of the text of the compromise that legally frames the document paves the way for its entry into force, as planned, on 1 July, for a duration of 12 months.
Designed to facilitate a return to free movement within the EU and to support the tourism sector in particular, in an attempt to ‘save’ the summer of 2021, this ‘transit pass’, will work similarly to a boarding card for trips, in digital and/or paper format, with a QR code to be easily read by electronic devices, and is to be made available free of charge, and in the citizen’s national language and in English.
As part of the implementation of this European certificate, it is expected that Member States will not apply restrictions again, when almost half of Europeans have already received the first dose of the vaccine against Covid-19, unless the epidemiological situation justifies it, however it will always be up to national governments to decide whether travellers with the certificate will have to undergo quarantine, further testing (for example, in addition to entry tests) or additional requirements.
On Tuesday, the European Commission urged EU member states to start issuing certificates proving vaccination, recovery or testing for Covid-19, in order to avoid “major blockages” in the official launch of the digital document at a community level.