Simon Calder says current UK travel rules are a ‘mess’
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The EU Digital Covid Certificate is the EU’s vaccine passport system for international travel. A spokesperson has said that the integration of the UK’s vaccine database into the EU system is at an advanced stage.
They told the Telegraph: “Significant progress was made on a technical front, namely when it comes to the connection to the gateway, with aim of going live [testing] soon.”
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We have applied to link into the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate scheme.
“Linking up to the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate scheme will enable us to digitally verify each other’s Covid certificates to make journeys easier.”
But what does this mean for travelling Brits in the EU?
READ MORE: ‘‘Absolute mess’ Simon Calder criticizes new travel rules
What is the EU Digital Covid Certificate?
The system is essentially a large digital platform through which different countries’ vaccine certificates and test results can be scanned and verified.
The system allows for easy verification of a person’s Covid status when travelling.
It is used on all external EU borders and also for domestic schemes that are currently in place in EU countries such as Portugal, Holland and France.
It comes in the form of an app to be downloaded to any smartphone, which in turn provides a QR code from the holders participating country which declares their proof of vaccine or recent negative test result.
What does this mean for UK to EU travel?
Using the certificate will make travelling in Europe easier and cheaper to travel on the continent.
The EU Digital Covid Certificate is the world’s largest vaccine passport scheme, and it covers more than 40 countries around the globe.
It covers all 27 EU states and other countries as far away as Panama and Israel.
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It will make the need for travel testing easier for those with a coronavirus vaccine.
For example, double jabbed Britons travelling to Portugal must currently buy a lateral flow test before departure, at £20 to £40 a time, only because their jabs are not recognised by the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
It will also make accessing hospitality venues in certain countries easier, as the pass is required in a number of popular holiday destinations such as France, Italy, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands.
Paul Charles, the chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said the domestic use of the pass had proved popular with the public.
He told the Telegraph: ”More people have got vaccinated as a result and the French have seen their infection rates drop significantly because of this measure.
“I think the UK public will get more and more used to it and you are likely to see it being integrated into daily life.
“This is not for the short term. Governments are getting used to it.
“They see it as increasing vaccine uptake, and they will be reluctant to remove it for people who are fully jabbed.”
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