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Travel groups urge rapid adoption of EU Digital Covid Certificate

Aviation, travel and tourism organisations across Europe have welcomed completion of the latest stage in developing a Digital Covid Certificate after a committee of the European Parliament and European Council approved the necessary regulations today.

The European Tourism Manifesto alliance of more than 60 organisations hailed adoption of the regulation and urged member states “to ensure swift implementation before July”.

The Digital Covid Certificate is due to come into force from July 1, when there will be a six-week phasing in period.

The certificate should certify whether the holder has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or has recovered from the virus or has recently received a negative test result.

However, how the certificate is used will be up to individual EU states, which will also reserve the right to impose restrictions including testing or quarantine on holders if necessary for public health.

The Manifesto group called on EU member states to implement the certificate by July 1 “and refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on certificate holders”.

It warned: “Any delay will undermine the chances of a successful recovery.” It said the resilience of the travel and tourism sector “is at its limit”.

The alliance noted 46% of adults in the EU had received their first vaccine dose by May 25.

The group also welcomed a previous announcement that €100 million will be made available from the EU Emergency Support Instrument for member states to purchase Covid-19 tests for travellers.

However, the alliance called for agreement among EU governments on common Covid-19 testing requirements, a harmonised minimum age for children at which a test is required, swift adoption of a European digital Passenger Locator Form, and for no additional requirements on transit passengers.

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