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The European Chamber asks for free PCR for tourists and that the Covid certificate is exempt from quarantine

Brussels sees “realistic and feasible” that these measures will be tested in June

European Parliament in Brussels. EFE / EPA / STEPHANIE LECOCQ / Archive

The European Parliament wants PCR tests carried out by travelers to be able to circulate in the European Union with the COVID certificate to be “free” tests for avoid discrimination between Europeans who can travel for having received the coronavirus vaccine free of charge.

It is one of the red lines drawn by MEPs for the negotiation that the European Parliament will start with the Twenty-seven and the European Commission, with the aim that the new certificate is ready before the end of June, so that it serves to boost the sector tourist in the summer season.

The negotiating mandate, which was voted on Wednesday although the result was known on Thursday, has advanced with a large majority 540 votes in favor, 119 against and 31 abstentions.

The text also asks change the name to EU Covid-19 Certificate be more descriptive and correct the erroneous impression that these are environmental issues as occurs with the name initially proposed Digital Green Certificate.

The Community Executive is convinced that it is “Realistic and feasible” to reach the agreement on time and that its technical development is also ready for June, revealed a community spokesman after the European Parliament voted.

Regarding the price of tests, the spokesman recalled that it is not an issue that Brussels considered in its initial proposal because the price of medicines is a matter for the exclusive competence of the Member States.

MEPs agree with Brussels and the Council that it should be a free document for everyone, that it can be issued in physical or digital format and that in no case should it be understood as a “passport” that opens borders, but rather as a medical information document to adapt the pandemic restrictions to the traveler.

The certificate will serve its holder to certify whether he has been vaccinated, with what and when, if he is immunized because he has already overcome the disease or, as a third option, if he has a negative diagnostic test carried out within 72 hours before the trip.

For this reason, MEPs warn in their negotiating position that they believe that The tests associated with the certificate must be “universal, accessible and free” for all Europeans, to prevent people who have not been vaccinated from suffering economic discrimination.

Tests are proposed to be free REUTERS / Yves Herman

Tests are proposed to be free REUTERS / Yves Herman

In a non-legislative resolution that is also adopted this Thursday at the same plenary session, Members go further and they are also committed to free tests that are not performed under the immunity certificate, especially in the cases of workers exposed in the first line, such as health workers and patients and staff from schools, universities and daycare centers.

The resolution provides for the introduction of a temporary maximum price limit for COVID-19 diagnostic tests that are not carried out to obtain the certificate.

During negotiations with the Member States and Brussels, the Parliament will also defend that certificate holders are not subject to additional restrictions, so they should be exempted from the requirement of quarantine, self-isolation or additional testing on arrival at their destination. They also warn that any additional initiative that a Member State intends to launch on the basis of the certificate must do so in accordance with the same legislative framework.

In the debate prior to the vote, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Interior and rapporteur for the position of the European Parliament, the Spanish socialist Juan Fernando López Aguilar, warned that This document should not be used by countries to filter, for example, access to restaurants, cinemas or other public spaces.

Regarding vaccines recognized by the certificate, deputies ask that they be issued only to patients who have been inoculated with vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), although leaving the door open to each country to decide to recognize other certificates issued by the States Members for vaccines listed by the World Health Organization.

European Medicines Agency, EMA REUTERS / Piroschka van de Wouw / Stock photo

European Medicines Agency, EMA REUTERS / Piroschka van de Wouw / Stock photo

Finally, certificates should be verified, as well as your electronic stamps, to prevent fraud and counterfeiting and the personal data obtained for issuing the certificate cannot be stored in the country of destination and there will be no centralized database in the EU.

The list of entities that will process and receive the data will be public, so that citizens can exercise their right to data protection, within the scope of the General Data Protection Regulation.

(with EP information)

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