IATA pushes for COVID vaccine passport to facilitate inter-Europe travel

Luxembourg Airport ©AirTeamImages

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is encouraging member EU states to get behind a proposal from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the creation of a COVID-19 passport for those who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, enabling them to travel throughout Europe without having to be repeatedly tested for COVID-19.

On the back of Mitsotakis’ proposal, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac has sent an open letter to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, which was also copied to key policy-makers across the EU. In the letter, de Juniac said: ”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 recognized 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.”

The Greek proposal is for a harmonized 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.” “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. Prime Minister Mitsotakis’s proposal for vaccine certificates will be a key enabler. Progress on eliminating or reducing quarantines can be made with testing protocols. But what we need now is for governments to start working together much more effectively. Unilateral government actions were able to quickly dismantle global connectivity. Re-building will need coordination,” de Juniac concluded.

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