- Tourism-dependent countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal and Spain, are urging other EU states to adopt Covid passports, which would be modeled on the “green passport” system implemented by Israel.
- “We know that in Israel they’ve made statements about anybody who tries to forge [a certificate] will face criminal proceedings and possibly be imprisoned. So, they really think that this is a risk that could happen.” — Professor Carsten Maple, cyber security expert, Alan Turing Institute.
- “In consultation with other EU member states, we are in favor of a digital green passport, similar to the one in #Israel. This should offer the possibility to prove on the mobile phone that one has been tested, vaccinated or recovered. Our goal: to avoid a permanent lockdown & finally to enable freedom to travel within the EU as well as to visit events or restaurants.” — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
- Greece is pressing the EU to move quickly…. But would these certificates only be required for international travel or could they be needed for getting a job, attending a football match, or buying some milk? — Professor Melinda Mills, lead author of the Royal Society report on Covid passports.
- “Yet making freedom conditional on facing the needle… takes us perilously close to the concept of compulsory vaccination… hardly likely to reassure anyone whose fear of the vaccine is bound up with a fear of an authoritarian state.” — Gaby Hinsliff, columnist, Guardian.
By Soeren Kern | 3 March 2021
GATESTONE INSTITUTE — European leaders are considering a proposal to introduce a common EU-wide Coronavirus vaccination passport. The so-called Covid passports would permit those who have been vaccinated to travel freely within the European Union without the need for quarantining and testing.
The leaders of several European countries heavily dependent on tourism are pushing for Covid passports to be implemented with immediate effect. Others say that it is far too early to consider such a move, especially because the EU’s Coronavirus vaccine rollout has been dogged by delays and questions about the efficacy of certain vaccines, particularly in light of the virus’s new mutant strains.
The idea of Covid passports has also sparked a heated debate over government overreach and the constitutionality and ethics of vaccine-related discrimination. At the same time, some EU member countries have threatened to act unilaterally and issue their own Covid passports if the EU fails to produce bloc-wide certification.