The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged all branches of the European Union to support an initiative from Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to agree a common digital European Covid-19 vaccination certificate.
It is hoped the digital document would enable those who are vaccinated to travel freely within Europe without testing. In an open letter to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, IATA chief executive, Alexandre de Juniac, called on EU dates to coordinate a policy that would see the region safely gain the economic and social benefits of renewed freedom of movement.
“Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ initiative should be urgently adopted by the commission and all member states. Vaccination is a fundamental key to safely reopening borders and stimulating economic recovery. A pan-European mutually recognised vaccination certificate would be an important step towards giving governments the confidence to safely open their borders, and passengers the confidence to fly without the barrier of quarantine,” said de Juniac.
The Greek proposal is for a harmonised vaccination certificate that could contribute to the re-establishment of mobility on a global scale, which is the foundation for re-establishing economic activity to pre-crisis levels.
As the virus comes eventually under control, testing capacities improve and the vaccinated population grows, de Juniac stressed the need for governments to prepare for re-establishing the freedom of movement with well-coordinated planning.
That planning should use the most effective combination of vaccination and testing capabilities.
“We are in very dark days of this pandemic. But the tough measures taken combined with accelerating vaccination programs must give us hope that we can safely re-establish the freedom of movement. That will save jobs, ease mental anguish, re-connect families and revive the economy. To do this safely and efficiently, planning is key,” said de Juniac.
The EU heads of state meet today and Mitsotakis’ proposal will be on the agenda.