Answer to Written Question: Draft law on vaccine passports
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Mr Reynders
on behalf of the European Commission
The Commission proposal of 17 March 2021 for a ’Digital Green Certificate’ aims to facilitate free movement within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing a common framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable certificates on COVID-19 vaccination, testing and recovery.
This should allow EU citizens exercising their right to free movement to demonstrate that they fulfil public health requirements imposed by the Member State of destination. The proposal also aims to ensure that restrictions of free movement currently in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 can be lifted in a coordinated manner as more scientific evidence becomes available.
Apart from vaccination certificates, the ’Digital Green Certificate’ also covers documents certifying a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 infection and documents certifying that the person concerned has recovered from a previous infection. This allows persons who are not vaccinated to benefit from such an interoperable framework as well, facilitating their free movement.
The possession of a vaccination certificate should not be a pre-condition for the exercise of free movement. Persons who are not vaccinated must be able to continue to exercise free movement, where necessary subject to limitations such as mandatory testing and quarantine/self-isolation. In particular, the proposed Regulation cannot be interpreted as establishing an obligation to be vaccinated.
The legal and scientific reasoning behind the Commission’s proposal is contained in the draft recitals of the Regulations and the explanatory memorandum published alongside the proposal.