“The political target is to achieve this (vaccination passports) in the next few months, I did talk about three months,” the CDU politician said on Thursday after the EU video summit.
The certificate would create the possibility of granting EU residents advantages or benefits if they have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.
“Everyone has pointed out today that this is not an issue at all at the moment, given the low vaccination coverage of the population,” said Merkel. “But one has to prepare oneself.”
She added that the creation of the certificates would “not mean that only those who have a vaccination passport are allowed to travel”.
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Countries such as Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Austria are pushing for travel rights for people who have been inoculated against Covid-19. Greece and Cyprus have already concluded agreements with Israel on the future entry of vaccinated people.
Some EU regions, such as Poland and Romania, already grant benefits to those who’ve had the jab, for example on entry.
Yet a concrete decision at the EU level is still a long way off. So far, the 27 EU member states have only agreed that there should be a mutually recognised vaccination certificate. A database for the registration of vaccinations and a personalised QR code for vaccinated residents are also planned.
However, Germany, France and others have reservations about attaching benefits to the document – among other issues, it is still not clear whether vaccinated people can pass the coronavirus on to others.
Before the summit, Austria and some other countries had pleaded for a “green passport” based on the Israeli model. In Israel, citizens who have received two doses against coronavirus are issued with a document that allows them to do activities like go to gyms, swimming pools, theatres and hotels.
Member state politicians also talked about approaches to speeding up the delivery of vaccines and travel restrictions.
EU vaccination certificate – (der) EU-Impfpass
Political target – (die) politische Vorgabe
Advantages/benefits – (die) Vorteile
Vaccinated/inoculated – geimpft
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