GBTA Welcomes the European Parliament’s Position

to introduce a unified, digital EU COVID-19 certificate negating any additional restrictions for travellers

Brussels (April 29, 2021) – The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s largest business travel association, welcomes the outcome of yesterday’s vote by the European Parliament and calls upon EU Governments to embrace the push for harmonised rules and the gradual lifting of unilateral travel restrictions during upcoming negotiations on a final text.

The Digital Green Certificate will verify that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19 using a vaccine authorised in the EU by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has recovered from the virus, or has a negative test result. The European Parliament voted in favour of preventing holders of the digital certificate to be subject to additional travel restrictions, such as quarantine, self-isolation or testing, thus restoring the free movement of business travellers across Members States. The European Parliament also agreed to avoid discriminations on economic grounds or on vaccine coverage, asking EU countries to ensure universal, accessible, timely and free of charge testing.

“More than a year after countries across Europe and the world decided to close borders and restrict travel to contain the spread of COVID-19, improved testing protocols and vaccination uptake are providing hope that safe travel can resume shortly. The announcement today provides some confidence to companies looking to resume business travel, which in turn will provide a much-needed economic boost to the travel, hospitality, and events sectors across European countries” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO – GBTA.

“We are delighted that Members of the European Parliament agree that holders of the EU COVID-19 digital certificate should not be subject to additional or adhoc travel restrictions and we welcome their demand for tests to be accessible, timely and free of charge. These are positive steps towards the resumption of business travel, and we encourage EU institutions to align to ensure the certificate becomes operational swiftly.”