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31 Mar, 2021 09:04

EU digital vaccine certificates for Covid-19 could be ready in May, says Spanish foreign minister

EU digital vaccine certificates for Covid-19 could be ready in May, says Spanish foreign minister

A senior Spanish minister has said she believes that the EU’s digital vaccine certificate could be rolled out as early as May but says it will be ready by the end of June at the latest despite the bloc’s inoculation challenges.

Speaking on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told Onda Cero radio that the vaccine certificate will be a useful tool with inoculation rates increasing and as the EU reopens to travel this summer. 

Gonzalez Laya admitted that now is not a good time to travel, cautioning Spanish citizens abroad to be responsible, but welcomed the implementation of an EU-wide program which could provide a boost to Spain’s ailing tourism industry. 

“If all goes well, we will have a vaccination certificate in June at the latest,” Gonzalez Laya stated, adding that “if it can be in mid-May, better, but not later than June.” 

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The EU’s plan for a Digital Green Certificate, which attempts to restore travel across the 27-nation bloc as Europe emerges from the pandemic, was proposed earlier in March by Brussels. The certificate will prove that a traveler has either been vaccinated, recovered from Covid or has provided negative test results. 

The minister said the vaccination program was a titanic undertaking but claims if the jabs arrive, the health service has the capacity to administer them very quickly.

Spain, like most EU countries, has struggled to access vaccine supplies and its inoculation campaign has suffered as a result. On Wednesday, El Pais reported that Spain has failed to hit its target of vaccinating 80% of over-80s by the end of March, but according to Brussels, EU countries remain on target to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by the end of summer. By comparison, nearly 60% of British adults have already received at least one jab.

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