As Europe is coming up on its summer holiday season, some top travel spots call on the European Union to introduce digital “vaccine passports” to help visitors enter and their tourism cash.
According to the Washington Post, Greece and Spain are among those in favor of the plan. However, France and Germany have raised concerns, saying it will be viewed as a path toward reopening by some. And those unvaccinated will populate gyms, restaurants, and cinemas.
“Immunity passports could reinforce inequalities both within and between countries,” said Emilian Kavalski, a professor at the University of Nottingham’s campus in Ningbo, China.
Some countries have already taken steps in that direction, the outlet reported.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said vaccine certificates are already “under consideration” despite officials dismissing the idea.
Israel recently launched its own digital vaccine certificates that allow people to go to gyms and restaurants. They also agreed to test out a travel bubble with E.U. members of Greece and Cyprus, allowing those vaccinated to travel there.
The European Commission is expected to turn in a proposal on merging the divides with the bloc this month. It could place a joint plan for digital vaccination certificates that would work across the E.U. and possibly beyond.
It is unclear what a digital vaccine certificate would look like.
Personalized QR codes, which are used in Israel and difficult to forge, may be one suggestion.
“Those who are vaccinated should have full freedom,” said Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who has joined Greece and Spain in support of vaccination documents.
“Some countries are very much preoccupied with now,” Greece’s tourism minister, Harry Theocharis, told the Financial Times in February.