European Union legislators and member countries found a compromise Thursday for launching COVID-19 certificates before the height of the summer holiday season, a move aimed at boosting travel and tourism following the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic.
The various players managed to reconcile their differences during another round of discussions, paving the way for the trans-border travel passes to be introduced. Officials said the system should be up and running by July 1.
“This agreement is the first step to get the Schengen Area back on track,” European Parliament rapporteur Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said, referring to Europe’s passport-free travel zone. “It will make all the difference, and it won’t be repeating the nightmare of Summer 2020.”
The European Commission said the certificates will be issued in digital format and designed to be shown either on smartphones or paper. It guaranteed that “a very high level of data protection will be ensured.”
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