Passengers at Mahon Airport, Menorca

The digital green certificate will be "complementary".

12-04-2021Josep Bagur Gomila

Manuel Muñiz, the secretary of state for Spain Global, said in an interview at the weekend that "everything appears to indicate" that the European "digital green certificate" for facilitating travel will be ready by June.

Muñiz told Hosteltur magazine that the EU has defined this document as a certificate and not as a passport, as passport leads to a misconception. "If I am not in possession of a passport, I do not have the right to international movement. This is not the case with the certificate. It seeks to facilitate free movement within the EU and with third countries. If someone does not have it, they will still be able to travel but will have to meet other health requirements from which certificate holders will be exempt. You will probably have to do diagnostic tests or meet other requirements. It is a terminology issue, as it has been important to create a tool that is not discriminatory."

The secretary of state said that there has been an "ethical debate" among member states, the principles underpinning the certificate being that it is free and universal but that it is not necessary and mandatory for travel; it is "complementary". Once the health crisis passes, it will no longer be justified.

The European certificate, which is along the lines of Spain's proposals, will contain information regarding vaccination - which vaccine, when it was administered, if two doses have been given or not. It will also indicate if a traveller has had Covid "over a recent period" and has therefore acquired immunity. In addition, it will note if the traveller has had some type of diagnostic test, be this PCR or antigen.

Once regulations for the certificate are approved by the European Commission, the certificate will become valid in all member states. There will not be the need for national legislation.

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