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Canada expresses concern over EU corona passport

The European Union (EU) officials have confirmed in developing a COVID-19 passport, known as Digital Green Certificate for its 27 countries and talking about that plan with the United States of America (USA), but Canada is taking a cautious approach based on science to keep Canadians safe.

A spokesperson from Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s office said, “Restrictions after vaccination, including the use of vaccine certifications, are being considered around the world as we look toward reopening our economies and our borders. Our focus is making sure Canadians are safe and healthy, and our response will continue to be based on science and evidence.”

Basically yesterday, the EU officials confirmed that the 27 country bloc is talking to the USA about a European plan to develop a type of international COVID-19 passport called a Digital Green Certificate. Officials said the EU was not talking to any other countries besides the USA about it at the moment. The plan to roll out the certificates was first announced last month and EU member countries are currently working out the details.

As per the proposal, the Digital Green Certificate would say if the bearer has been vaccinated, with which vaccine, whether they have tested negative and whether they have had COVID-19 and since recovered. Each EU country would be responsible for issuing the certificate, which could happen through hospitals, test centres or national health authorities.

It further says that, should the certificates become a reality, member states would have to accept travellers with valid certificates provided they were vaccinated with a shot approved for use in the EU. The EU has approved the Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines. People vaccinated with a non-approved vaccine could still be let in, at the discretion of the individual member state. Should the certificate program be rolled out, an EU spokesperson said the “resumption of travel will however depend on the epidemiological situation both in the EU and outside the EU.”

However, a spokesperson from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the spread of COVID-19 and that the agency will not act until they are answered. “Scientific evidence is clear that the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are highly effective at preventing illness. It is unknown whether vaccinated individuals can still be asymptomatic and spread the virus, thus can still pose a public health risk,” the spokesperson said.

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