EU will not introduce "Covid passport", Rutte says after summit
The European Union will not introduce a "coronavirus passport", with which people who have been vaccinated against the virus can travel freely again, caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said to NOS after meeting with the EU leaders.
Countries like Greece and Portugal asked for such a passport, because their economies are very dependent on tourism. But according to Rutte there are still too many questions, including ethical ones, regarding the use of such a passport. The Netherlands asked the Health Council for advice on such a document. "I don't want to make a hasty decision now."
The EU leaders are all very concerned about new variants of the coronavirus popping up worldwide. Strains from the United Kingdom, South Africa and South America seem to be extra contagious, and there are concerns that vaccines and antibodies won't be able to protect people from the latter two strains.
Despite these concerns, the leaders decided not to close the borders within the EU. It is important to keep traffic flowing, so that no extra pressure is put on already struggling economies. However, the government leaders are urging their citizens not to travel. "It is antisocial if you travel now when it is not necessary," Rutte said.