Just one jab may be enough to travel with EU COVID vaccine passport
EU vaccine certificates for people who aren’t fully vaccinated
With infection rates on a downward trajectory and the vaccine rollout speeding up, many people in Germany are looking forward to the summer with an eye to travel. However, at the current pace of vaccination, a large proportion of EU citizens will not have received both of their jabs in time for the holiday season.
In order to not unfairly disadvantage those who have not yet been offered a vaccine, therefore, the European Union is considering extending the offer of its Digital Green Certificate to include those who have only received one dose of the vaccine - on the basis that even one dose demonstrably lowers one’s risk of infection.
Those who have only received one shot of a vaccine against COVID-19 that requires two jabs, such as the BioNTech / Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca jabs, would still be able to use the digital certificate as a proof of vaccination.
Free travel not guaranteed
However, this would not necessarily guarantee free access to all EU member states. The certificate would clearly state whether the holder had received one or two jabs, and it would be left up to the individual countries to decide how to proceed. Some countries might, for instance, request partially-vaccinated people to undergo a coronavirus test or even go into quarantine.
However, it looks as though anyone planning on travelling by car won’t have to worry about border controls. While everyone travelling across Europe will be expected to provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test, this will be difficult to follow up without checks at the borders.
More details expected by end of the week
The EU is hoping to push through the necessary legislation so that the vaccine passport can be introduced by the end of June, in time for the upcoming summer holidays. Representatives from the European Parliament, Council and Commission are meeting this week to hammer out the details of the plan. More information is expected by the end of the week.
A number of points, however, still remain up in the air, leading some EU sources doubtful whether all member states will reach an agreement this week, in time to implement the passport by June 21.
For instance, the European Parliament is pushing for free PCR tests to be given to anyone who wants to apply for the travel certificate, in order to level the playing field between those who received the vaccine for free and those who have not yet had the chance to receive one. But many member states disagree.