The agreement on the EU digital COVID-19 certificate reached by the block’s Member States has been welcomed by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which has continuously called on EU countries’ governments to find alternative ways to facilitate the travel process amid the ongoing pandemic.
Senior Vice President of WTTC, Virginia Messina, believes that the new document could be the most helpful option to save the jobs of millions of persons engaged in the travel and tourism industry, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“WTTC welcomes the agreement reached on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which has now been given the green light by all member states. This new certificate could be the key to unlocking international travel and save thousands of businesses and millions of jobs across Europe and beyond,” Messina pointed out.
She also said that such a decision would see EU Member States welcoming vaccinated passengers and those with proof of a COVID-19 negative test or a positive antibody test this summer season, which, according to her, will provide a massive boost to economies.
In the name of the Council, she urged all Member States to have the document up running by July 1 with no additional restrictions.
“The European Commission must be applauded for its incredible efforts in introducing this major initiative, which could be the driving force behind the resurrection of Travel & Tourism,” Messina emphasized.
The WTTC’s Senior Vice President pointed out that since the beginning of the pandemic, the travel and tourism sector had suffered a financial loss like never before, with a total of 62 million people around the world losing their jobs, adding that this initiative will “aid the restoration of safe international travel.”
In this regard, yesterday, the European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement concerning the EU Digital COVID-19 document, ensuring that this certificate eases the travel within the EU and is finalized by the end of June.
The World Travel and Tourism Council previously revealed that about €3,8 trillion financial loss had occurred in the travel and tourism sector in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Such figures were published through the annual Economic Impact Report (EIR) of the Council.
In addition, the World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual EIR revealed that the contribution of the travel and tourism sector to world GDP marked a 49.1 per cent decrease last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.