Committee on Tourism Ethics Recommends Responsible Use of Travel Certificates

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Committee on Tourism Ethics Recommends Responsible Use of Travel Certificates
14 May 2021
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Recommendation on COVID-19 Certificates for International Travel
The World Committee on Tourism Ethics, an independent and impartial body of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), responsible for the promotion of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, as well as the evaluation and monitoring of the implementation of its principles;
…Recognizing the urgent need to restart tourism in view of the summer tourist season in the Northern Hemisphere, which precedes the tourist season on the Southern Hemisphere, in order to mitigate the negative economic and social effects on tourism destinations, local populations and tourism workers;
Acknowledging the existence of various initiatives concerning health or COVID-19 related certificates and passports as well as a number of bilateral agreements between states with a view to facilitating the entry of vaccinated persons into their respective territories;
Considering international cooperation and global coordination as well as interoperability to be of highest importance for the implementation of these certificates worldwide;
Taking into account the right of national authorities to regulate the use of these certificates within their territories, in line with the principle of subsidiarity;
Calling upon the relevant national and international authorities to achieve a broad vaccine distribution and roll-out, by all useful means, while deploying a high degree of solidarity towards less advantaged countries and protecting local populations in this regard;
Noting that technological, sanitary, and legal matters related to COVID-19 certificates do not fall under the remit of this Committee.
Acknowledging the applicability to this context of the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005), and the temporary recommendations issued by World Health Organization (WHO)under the IHR in reference to the public health emergency of international concern, encouraging States Parties to “implement coordinated, time-limited, risk-based, and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to international traffic” while considering the “limited (although growing) evidence about the performance of vaccines in reducing transmission”.
Having in mind the principles and rules protective of personal data, which are of particular importance in the matter of health protection, notably the Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;…

Recommends that any COVID-19 certificate for international travel would have to meet the following conditions:
1. The certificate should be a unique document, containing information on the vaccination status, and/or diagnostic (molecular, PCR and antigen)and/or information about recovery status;

2. The certificate should be limited in duration and its use should be discontinued as soon as the World Health Organization no longer considers COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC);

3. The certificate should be used primarily for international mobility;

4. For a maximum accessibility, the certificate should be available both in digital and paper format;

5. The certificate must ensure, in both formats, data protection and security, as well as the privacy of the holder. Said certificate must also provide a guarantee of authenticity to avoid fraud and misuses;

6. The certificate should be free of charge; international cooperation and governments should ensure the population’s wide access to free vaccines and affordable tests;

7. The provision of vaccines and related certificates at destination countries should not form part of package tours or other similar products nor should such initiatives be supported by governments.



EU Digital COVID Certificate: European Parliament and Council reach agreement on Commission proposal
Press release 20 May 2021
The Commission welcomes today’s provisional political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the Regulation governing the EU Digital COVID Certificate.

…President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We are delivering on our commitment to have the EU Digital COVID Certificate up and running before the summer. European citizens are looking forward to travelling again, and today’s agreement means they will be able to do so safely very soon.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate is free of charge, secure and accessible to all. It will cover vaccination, test and recovery offering different options to the citizens. It fully respects citizens’ fundamental rights, including protection of personal data.

All EU citizens have a fundamental right to free movement in the EU. The EU Digital COVID Certificate, available in paper or digital format, will make it easier for Europeans to travel – whether to see their families and loved ones or to get some well-deserved rest…


The EU Digital COVID Certificate – key features
Following the agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council, the EU Digital COVID Certificate:
:: will cover vaccination, test and recovery;
:: will be available in a digital and paper-based format, depending on the choice of the recipients, and contain a digitally signed QR code;
:: will be free of charge, be obtained easily and also available to persons vaccinated before the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation has entered into force;
:: may also be used by Member States for national purposes, if this is provided for in national law.
:: Member States shall refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on the holders of an EU Digital COVID Certificate, unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health.
:: The Commission will also mobilise €100 million to support Member States in providing affordable tests.

Next Steps
The political agreement will now have to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. The Regulation will enter into force on 1 July, with a phasing-in period of six weeks for the issuance of certificates for those Member States that need additional time…