Sat, 17 Apr 2021

Austria's Kurz calls for 'Green Passports'

ANI
25 Feb 2021, 23:18 GMT+10

Vienna [Austria], February 25 (ANI): Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Wednesday said he will push the European Union on Thursday to introduce a "green passport" for people who have protection against the coronavirus.

"We need a 'green passport' for everyone who has either been vaccinated or has immunity because they have just gone through coronavirus, or has taken a new (negative) test," Kurz told journalists on Wednesday, ahead of a two-day summit with European leaders on the pandemic, as reported by CNN.

"We need the freedom to travel back within the European Union, no matter if it is for business or private reasons. And we want to have the possibility to go back to cultural events, to the gastronomy, to the hotel business and enjoy it," Kurz said.

CNN reported that Central Europe has become the continent's latest coronavirus hotspot, with Austria struggling to contain an outbreak of the new variant first identified in South Africa and the neighbouring Czech Republic facing hospital bed shortages on top of a political crisis over lockdowns.

Kurz said he would introduce his proposal at the EU summit on Thursday and said he hoped for an European solution.

He said green passports could be introduced on a smaller scale if it fails to attract the support of the entire bloc. "We will, of course, approach this project nationally and try to find a common path with as many states in the neighborhood and beyond as possible," he said.

CNN further reported that some destinations like the Seychelles, Cyprus and Romania have already lifted quarantine requirements to visitors able to prove they are vaccinated. Others, such as Iceland and Hungary, have opened up to people who have recovered from Covid-19. (ANI)

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