Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

13.13 1 Mar 2021


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Plans for a European pass to facilitate travel for work and tourism are set to be revealed later this month.

The European Commission President says the so called 'Digital Green Pass' will provide proof a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as results of tests for those who have yet to receive a vaccine.

Ursula von der Leyen insists it will respect data protection, security and privacy.

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She said: "The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans‘ lives.

"The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the European Union or abroad - for work or tourism."

EU tourism ministers are set to hold an informal video conference today, to discuss ways of 'rebuilding trust among travellers' as vaccination programmes are rolled out.

Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show, immunologist Professor Luke O'Neill said reopening travel in Europe is something countries such as Greece - whose economy is heavily reliant on foreign tourism - are heavily pushing for.

He said: “There are challenges, because some won’t be vaccinated… there are ethical and legal issues. But I think they should be able to sort this out somehow.

“The word pass is seen as not the one to use, by the way, because it seems like you're 'free'. We still need to be careful.

"They may issue a certificate saying ‘I have had both doses of my vaccine’, and that should allow you to do things."

However, he said it's vital there's widespread vaccination first, as otherwise people will be left out when since certs start being issued.

Main image: File photo of Ursula von der Leyen. Picture by: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

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