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Austria and twelve other EU countries are putting pressure on the "green passport question of survival"

Vienna / EU-wide / Brussels - Austria and twelve other EU states have agreed on seven criteria for the creation of a "green passport" for tourism. The goal is to implement the green passport quickly and as uniformly as possible at European level, said Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) of the APA. "For European tourism this is a question of survival," said Köstinger. These seven priorities from the point of view of tourism would now be transmitted to the EU Commission.

For the first time, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Austria discussed the priorities for the implementation of the green passport on March 29 at the invitation of Köstinger. Two weeks later, the 13 EU countries agreed that the green passport should be implemented by June 2021 at the latest, thereby facilitating freedom of travel during the ongoing pandemic.

No compulsory vaccination through the back door

It must be ensured that the certificates are treated equally and that there is no discrimination. There should be no introduction of mandatory vaccination through the back door. This should be achieved by means of a secure and user-friendly technical solution, according to the priority list sent to the APA.

The national freedom of choice about additional freedoms through the green passport, which should be visible on a common platform, must be preserved, it said. The health data of the individual citizens should not be stored in a centralized database at EU level, but should only be stored in the member state and nowhere else. The aim is also to work out a cross-border solution with third countries and to work closely with the travel and tourism industry on the introduction of the green passport.

"The green passport makes it possible to see at a glance whether someone has been vaccinated, recovered or tested. This should be implemented easily and user-friendly on a European level with a standardized QR code," explained Köstinger. "From check-in at the airport or in the hotel to a visit to the village inn or the sporting event, the green pass can make a lot of things easier," said the Minister of Tourism. The decision as to which simplifications these are in detail is of course made by each member state itself, according to Köstinger. (APA, April 12, 2021)