The EU agreed to issue a joint vaccination document that would allow those vaccinated to travel during the summer holidays. However, the document is expected to be ready before summer break at the earliest.
The European Union (EU) plans to prepare a vaccination document at European level to be able to travel in the summer holidays before entering the summer season. The leaders of the EU countries reached a consensus on the vaccination document at the summit held on Thursday via videoconference. However, the document in question is expected to be ready before the summer break at the earliest.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who is criticized for the difficulties in the supply of vaccines, said that the application of the vaccine certificate “needs time” and said that expectations should not be “too soon, too high. ” “It would probably take at least three months to develop such a system,” said Von der Leyen.
Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel He said that after the videoconference held on Thursday with the participation of the heads of state and government of EU countries, the EU Commission will take “about three months” to establish the technical infrastructure of the vaccine document.
Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz said he supports the application of the vaccination certificate in his remarks before the summit, and said that the Green Document handed out to those who have been vaccinated in Israel can be taken as an example. Kurz pointed out that you can also visit gyms, swimming pools, theaters or hotels.
Won’t catch up on Easter holidays
At the summit, no decision was made to meet the expectations of holiday countries like Greece, who had their hopes in vaccination documents, for Easter.
Countries like Germany and France oppose the preparation of the vaccination certificate before Easter, claiming that “a privilege will be given to a small group”, opening the way for vaccinated people to travel on this holiday.
Specifying that at this stage, the application of the vaccination certificate can begin before the summer holidays, Merkel said that “there is a political requirement to be ready until the summer period.”
However, Merkel recalled that the vaccination certificate should not allow only the vaccinated to travel for free and that children cannot be vaccinated. Merkel added that to travel, it is possible to request facilities as evidence.
Restrictions will not be relaxed
In a written statement made after the summit, which was held with the participation of 27 presidents of state and government, it was emphasized that restrictions should not be relaxed too quickly due to the rapid spread of the mutated coronavirus, saying: “The situation it is still serious considering the spread of more infectious forms of virus. ” “Therefore, we must increase efforts to accelerate the supply of vaccines while maintaining strict restrictions,” the text states.
Although vaccination studies in the EU started about two months ago, there is still a shortage of vaccines in member countries. The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, said that he does not expect this situation to be resolved in the short term and said that “the next few weeks will be difficult.”
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, stated that there were no changes in the plan to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population by the end of the summer, “This means 255 million people in Europe. When we look at the forecasted figures, it is a goal we can be sure of. “
The Commission expects approximately 350 million doses of vaccine to be delivered by the end of the second quarter of the year and 600 million doses by the summer. However, among the 600 million doses of vaccine, expected to be delivered in late summer, there are also those that have not yet received approval, but are expected to be approved. The Commission assumes that if the above-mentioned quantities of vaccine are supplied, by the end of the summer, vaccines will be offered to 70 percent of the citizens of the Union.
Stating that 29 million doses of vaccine have so far been administered in EU countries, Von der Leyen said that the first dose was administered to five percent of the adult population and the second dose required for complete protection at three percent. hundred.
Continue with travel restrictions
At the summit, the heads of state and government spoke in favor of maintaining travel restrictions. In the written statement made after the summit, the importance of “restricting travel that is not absolutely necessary” was noted and noted that “as long as the reasons are proportionate and do not allow discrimination, countries may apply travel restrictions. “.
The EU Commission criticized Germany this week for border controls and travel restrictions in the Czech Republic and the Tyrolean state of Austria.