France launches travel pass against coronavirus – POLITICO

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PARIS – France wants to be the first EU member country to implement a COVID-19 transport ticket, a first example of a digital green pass that the European Commission wants to roll out across the bloc by mid -June.

“Last summer, it was a total mess, because we had different classifications, risk zones which were not the same from one country to another”, declared the French Minister for Europe. . Clément Beaune told France Info Tuesday.

“This summer, I hope we will regain our freedom through vaccination, restraint and this digital certification,” he said.

The TousAntiCovid Contact Finder app has been downloaded by almost 15 million people and has been updated to include negative PCR and antigen tests. It will also be updated to include vaccination certificates by the end of the month, French Digital Minister Cédric O.

The Commission wants to roll out its digital green pass plan – intended to check a person’s vaccination, test or immunity status across the EU – by June. But Beaune said the laissez-passer would not be mandatory for all member countries, raising concerns about the various rules emerging across the borderless bloc.

“It is a simple and harmonized device […] and I think all countries will need it at least for the summer, ”Beaune said.

The application will be tested this week on Air France and Air Corsica flights to Ajaccio, Corsica, then on flights to the French overseas departments. The French government hopes to test the application with neighboring EU countries within two weeks.

Yet it is easier said than done. An official in the Commission’s Directorate-General for Health admitted that there were still some technical hurdles to overcome before the app could be used for travel to Europe. “We have to wait until other European countries are ready and able to read the French certificate. At the same time, we are conducting bilateral discussions with the countries to see how to proceed technically and logistically, ”he said.

European affairs ministers in the bloc are expected to discuss pandemic coordination, including the digital pass plan, informally on Tuesday in a virtual meeting.

One of the benefits of the app is that it will help prevent the use of fake tests used to access international flights. But the TousAntiCovid application will not be used to access restaurants and shops in France, a tool that many restaurateurs and traders find difficult to impose. “There are, however, questions about access to concerts, festivals and trade fairs,” the French Minister of Digital technology told reporters on Monday at a press conference.

A paper version will also be available for citizens who do not have the TousAntiCovid application.

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