The covid card, the QR code that should make it easier for Europeans to travel in the European Union this summer, may not be available until August. Prime Minister Rutte said this after the European Union summit in Portugal. In this case, the delay will come too late for many Dutch vacationers.
At the summit, the leaders of the European Union government spoke for a long time about the Coronavirus situation. Prime Minister Rota was not physically present at the summit in Porto, but he participated from afar. It was agreed that the Covid Corridor would take effect on June 21 and that Member States would have 6 weeks to implement the system at the national level.
Prime Minister recounted: “Of course we will try to make that period as short as possible. I can imagine that other countries will have an interest in trying that as well, but by themselves they will have six weeks. On June 21, otherwise everything will be late.”
He talks about a promise, a target date, depending on the discussion in Europe. For example, the question is how to deal with countries that have vaccinated the population with the Russian Sputnik vaccine. Moreover, it is not yet clear how long a person with the disease will be immune. Member states must agree on these issues before June 21.
According to the European Commission, the system will be technical and tested by that time. Another European summit is scheduled for May 25 to discuss these matters.
Prime Minister Rutte aims to have the Netherlands ready to insert the Covid card “days, up to a week or two” after the target date. “We will all have to do that. I cannot guarantee that.”
According to the Oostdam manager of the ANVR travel umbrella it was indeed “a very ambitious plan to be able to arrange it before the summer”. He describes the covid card as perfect, but says there are other scenarios to make travel easier. For example, it is believed that the Dutch version of the app could be ready at the start of summer, and if that doesn’t work, according to Ostdam, people can travel with proof that they’ve tested negative.