“In the future it will certainly be good to have such a certificate, but that does not mean that only those who have one will be able to travel,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after last week’s meeting.
Vaccination efforts in the European Union have generally got off to a slow start. So far, only 5% of the population in the block has received at least one injection of the vaccine. However, the certificates will go beyond vaccination status to include the holder’s broader medical history of the virus, according to Christian Wigand, a spokesperson for the commission.
“We will also be looking at other categories of information to avoid discrimination against citizens, such as test results and recovery statements,” Wigand said on Monday.
Setting up the system and issuing certificates would take at least three months, the commission said. It was not immediately clear what legislative and technical measures would be needed, or whether the system would extend beyond the citizens of the European Union.
The commission said there should be a way to expand it globally, in cooperation with the World Health Organization. However, when pressed for more details, Mr. Wigand asked for “a little patience”, explaining that “this is all very fresh”.
Others have argued about the fairness of allowing only those who have had access to vaccines to travel while many others must still live under restrictions.
The commission said last week it would seek to avoid discrimination against citizens who have not received a vaccine.