By Tony Winterburn • 19 January 2021 • 21:33
EU Leaders Give Their Initial Backing to ‘Vaccine Passports’.
The EU has given it’s initial backing to ‘vaccine passports’ despite the UK governments warning that travel could spread the disease even after people have had the jabs.
Coronavirus vaccine passports could soon be ‘recognised’ across the EU as leaders give their initial backing ahead of a summit this week. Brussels said using the passports to allow greater travel and tourism in the bloc was currently ‘premature’ but hinted that plans could be picked up in the future. EU commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas said it was ‘perfectly imaginable that this can open avenues for other use, including facilitating travel’.
Plans for a vaccine passport to allow people who have had the coronavirus jab to travel freely around Europe will be hotly debated by EU leaders as they meet virtually to coordinate responses to the more contagious Covid variant first identified in the UK.
The proposal is also being pushed by the Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, but there are serious doubts in other EU capitals about the wisdom of the move. Concerns were aired during a recent meeting of EU health ministers, and key capitals including Berlin are wary of any system that discriminates between those fortunate enough to have received the vaccine and the rest.
Mitsotakis, whose country’s economy is heavily reliant on tourism, has written to the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, in support of the initiative, claiming he thinks it will encourage people to get vaccinated.
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