By: Amy Jo Underwood
The European Union is developing a plan for opening their country to tourism, and has stated that Americans will be able to visit Europe this summer provided that they show proof of vaccination. The president of the European Commission stated that they are working quickly to develop a universal vaccine passport (referred to as a “digital green certificate”) and that all EU countries will be using the system. The Biden administration has stated that they will not require American citizens to utilize a universal vaccine passport system within the U.S. borders.
The European Union has made an official statement on the requirement of vaccine passports for U.S. citizens who plan to travel in 2021. While the EU is still finalizing their system, they have stated that proof of vaccination will be required, possibly through a certificate provided by the U.S. government, referred to as a “Digital Green Certificate.” Some countries, such as Greece, are opening up and allowing individuals to enter their borders with proof of a negative coronavirus test.
According to Forbes, the EU has avoided use of the term “vaccine passport,” but has stated that official proof of a vaccination, or an equivalent proof from the government that the individual contracted COVID-19 (and recovered), will be mandatory. The current plan is to create a phone application that will show proof of the individual’s vaccine or proof of having received a recent negative COVID-19 test after previously contracting the virus.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, stated that “The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines. This will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union. Because one thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A.” The EU medical agency has approved all three major vaccines in circulation in the United States.
The Biden administration has stated that it will not require universal vaccination passports within the U.S. borders, and has left the decision to the states and business sector.
“It’s completely unacceptable for the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of a vaccine to just simply participate in normal society. You want the fox to guard the henhouse? ...I think this has huge privacy implications. It is not necessary to do.” - Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)