Speed Reads

COVID passports

European Parliament gives final approval to EU COVID passports

The European Parliament gave final approval Tuesday to the European Union Digital COVID Certificate, or COVID passport, a free digital or paper certificate designed to allow Europeans to move freely between EU member states. The EU COVID passports will officially launch on July 1, though nine countries have already approved them and more than 1 million Europeans have already signed up, the European Commission said Tuesday. 

The EU Digital COVID Certificate, in paper or digital form, will show border agents and other offials through a QR code that a traveler has either gotten vaccinated with one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or AstraZeneca — had a recent negative COVID-19 test, or been infected with the coronavirus and recovered. It will initially be available only to EU citizens and legal residents, but "an EU spokesperson has told CNN that the bloc expects to open the scheme up to non-citizens — including Americans," CNN reports.

The European Parliament passed the legislation setting up the EU Digital COVID Certificate on a vote of 546 to 93, and it needs to be formally adopted by the Council of the European Union.