The Austrian government has announced today (17th March) that ‘Digital Green Passports’ proving vaccination against COVID-19 will be issued from April, allowing travel to the country.
The Austrian authorities announced they will be speeding up the issuing of COVID-19 vaccination certificates before the project gains legal approval within the EU.
The Austrian government hopes to legally approve the EU’s Digital Green Certificate initiative within the coming days so as to be able to issue the passes from mid-April.
The certificates will be presented electronically via a QR code and will contain a vaccination certificate, a test certificate (PCR or antigen test) and a recovery certificate issued no earlier than 20 days after the first positive PCR test result.
The EU hopes its Digital Green Certificate scheme will make travelling within EU borders possible from 1st June.
However, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz from the centre-right Austrian People’s Party announced after a cabinet meeting on the issue: “We don’t want to wait for implementation at EU level.”
Health Minister Rudolf Anschober from the centre-left Austrian Green Party is set to present a proposal regarding legal issues and technical implementation to Austria’s Health Committee tomorrow (18th March).
The certificate is expected to be issued free of charge to all EU citizens, their family members and third-country nationals residing in EU countries either digitally or in paper form.
Tourism Minister Elisabeth Koestinger from the Austrian People’s Party hopes the certificates will be a boon for tourism in the country, and she emphasised that only essential information regarding the certificate holders would be stored in a national database and held nowhere else.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash
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