The world’s first safe and secure “Green Passport” has been launched in Athens, Greece. Countries want to open, but they’re not quite thrilled about trusting a little hand written piece of paper saying you’ve been vaccinated or tested, purely on its own.
The European Union solution is the so called “green passport”, and ahead of its full deployment, Greece has tested the very first. The technology, which aims to fast track a return to travel is being rolled out ahead of what’s promising to be a busy summer for travel in Europe.
Europe Launching Digital Green Certificates
Greece has unveiled the first successful EU “green pass”, which was officially launched in Athens by Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, after successful intro trials with Iceland and Germany.
The pass will add simplicity and security to summer travel plans.
The EU’s digital green certificates allow for countries, approved clinics, hospitals and other trusted partners to upload vetted proof of a negative covid-19 test, antibodies, or full vaccination. The trusted data sharing will expand to the US, UK and others for a July launch date.
The concept is simple, but effective. Fraud in testing and vaccination proof are a key barrier for governments reopening travel presently, but the certificates would help to vet proof in a more secured way, so vaccinated travelers would have stronger records of proof.
Approved testing labs would then upload negative covid-19 or antibody results for any unvaccinated travelers, eliminating risk of someone writing their own PDF result.
The EU states that someone carrying either a digital or paper copy of the EU “green passport” at a border this summer should not be subject to any restrictions on free movement.
In other words, if you’re fully vaccinated, you should be allowed to enter Europe from the USA, or from other outside countries, without requiring any additional testing or quarantine. The same will apply to movement within the EU, between countries.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, the EU green pass gives you the option of proving recent recovery from covid-19, or a recent negative covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel and benefiting equally, provided you get tested first.
According to the proclamation, any country which chooses not to honor the fully free movement must notify all 26 member states of their reasoning for the decision and provide ample warning for travelers, to prevent loss of confidence.
What About Travel Before July?
Most EU countries are accepting simple proof of vaccination and any verifiable test results. Greece, for example, opened in April to outside visitors, including those from the USA, UK, UAE, Israel and more, and accepts paper vaccination certificates as proof.
Most countries in Europe have agreed to this, and this was clarified earlier by the EU. A traveler with a legitimate proof of full vaccination and 14 days since their last required shot should not worry about whether things will be accepted before the EU green pass launches.
Once the pass is launched, Europe aims to offer a simple and effective process to verify the results digitally, allowing people to simply show a QR code from the app on their phone, or provide a piece of paper which verifies the “all clear”.