“Green Passports”: My position on Covid-Certificates
I have received numerous questions from all over the EU on the planned Covid certificates (“Green Passports”). Thank you to all citizens for participating in this important debate!
To me, the Green Passport offers the possibility to document medical data with comparable standards everywhere in the European Union. Common rules for documenting the vaccination, test and recovery status for Covid19 are essential to facilitate mutual recognition of tests and vaccinations in the EU. Due to confusing and inconsistent rules on the validity period of tests, people who need to travel for work are currently still stuck in member states’ bureaucracy.
But the green passport should not be a travel prerequisite. People who cannot or do not want to be vaccinated must not be disadvantaged. Nor must a false sense of security be created. For the time being, the distance and hygiene rules remain the most critical measures to contain the pandemic. This also includes personal, responsible abstention from non-essential travel.
It must be ensured that the Green Passport contains only the most necessary personal data and that the EU’s Basic Data Protection Regulation is complied with. Patient data must not be stored by airlines, hotels and other commercial and government actors. Member states and the Commission must consistently pursue offences in this area. There must also be freedom of choice between a digital solution and a paper version.
Rapid tests and PCR tests should not be equated, nor should there be a blanket assumption that infected persons no longer excrete viruses 20 days after the first positive PCR test. Testing must be easily accessible and free of charge.
With regard to vaccinations, it is neither clear how long vaccination protection lasts nor whether vaccinated persons cannot transmit the virus after all. Therefore, vaccinations must not be a waiver to abolish hygiene rules.
Conclusion: There are still many unanswered questions about the Green Certificate. That is why I voted against the “urgent procedure” with shortened debate and decision time. My group and I will work to improve the legislative proposal in terms of data and health protection.