Friday, April 30, 2021

Europe Holds International Travel Hostage Until Americans Can Flash A Vaccine Passport; Viable Plan or Security Theater? Europe Embraces Digital Health Pass , and other C-Virus Updates

Europe Holds International Travel Hostage Until Americans Can Flash A Vaccine Passport:
In case you were thinking about traveling abroad this summer after more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, all U.S. citizens will need a vaccine passport to travel to Europe.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the New York Times on Sunday that tourists will need to have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to travel to any of the 27 member states of the European Union. “All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A. [European Medicines Agency],” von der Leyen said.
The three vaccines being deployed in the United States — Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson — have been approved by the E.M.A. European regulators also gave the go-ahead on the AstraZeneca vaccine, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still reviewing it for approval.
The specifics of how American tourists will have to provide proof of vaccination are still being worked out. Officials in Brussels told the Times a “low-tech solution” will suffice as the United States and international governments work out the kinks of delivering a program “acceptable and readable in the European Union, and vice versa.” The Brussels officials explained that an American tourist would receive a “vaccine certificate” for the European Union after arriving and demonstrating proof of a document validated by the U.S. government, reinforcing many Americans’ concerns about federally issued vaccine passports in the United States. --->READ MORE HERE
Viable plan or security theater? Europe embraces digital health pass:
As Europe races to set up a digital health pass scheme to save the holiday season from the pandemic, technical and political obstacles are showing just how big a challenge the world faces in building such systems, people involved in the effort say.
Developers are grappling with issues ranging from the practical – such as what to accept as proof of being COVID-19 free – to the philosophical, including debates over discrimination and personal privacy.
Southern countries that depend on tourism like Spain, Greece and Portugal are clamoring for a quick rollout of the promised European Union “digital green pass,” saying their economies will not withstand the loss of another summer season.
The EU Commission plans to award a contract this month for a central system for verifying the digital passes, which will use QR codes that can be scanned into a smartphone app. It will also provide a template to help member countries develop their own apps – though some have already readied their own versions. --->READ MORE HERE
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