Spain has said that it will not require European Union citizens to provide proof of a negative PCR test or to quarantine upon arrival, if they can show what the EU is officially calling ‘Digital Green Certificates’.
The certificates are expected to show whether citizens have either been vaccinated against Coronavirus, have had a negative diagnostic test, or have proof of having recovered from the disease and have antibodies.
Spain’s General Secretary for Digital Health, Information and Innovation of the National Health System, Alfredo González, said at a press briefing on Thursday that the ‘certificate document’ will come in the form of a free QR code and be available by the end of June, in order to allow for ‘more people’ to travel to Spain ‘in a safer manner’.
With quarantine and a recent PCR test no longer required, Spanish authorities are hoping to facilitate travel for citizens from other EU countries as well as help the local tourism industry recover from the pandemic downturn. In 2020, foreign tourism to Spain plunged 80% to 19 million visitors – its lowest figure since 1969.
González said that the ‘Digital Green Certificate’ will facilitate free movement in the EU, ‘but will not limit the mobility’ of those who do not hold a certificate, and ‘will respect, at any event, data protection, safety and privacy’.
‘This is not a passport or a travel document, nor is it a pre-requisite for travelling,’ said González, but it is ‘a mechanism that facilitates mobility’. He also emphasised the possibility of extending the digital model to compatible Certificates issued by third (non-EU) countries.
The European Commission presented the model of the Digital Green Vaccination Certificate on 17 March and, since then, the Member States have been working hard on the legal and technical aspects of the model.
The regulation is currently in its passage through the EU institutions, and is expected to be approved in the month of June so that the Certificate can be operational by the end of that month.
The Digital Green Certificate is expected to ease free movement within the EU and Schengen Area.