Wednesday, August 4

Brussels “strongly” requests that COVID passports be verified before arriving at the airport to avoid crowds

“Those responsible are the Member States, but they can decide who has to carry out the verification,” says the European Commission. In conclusion: each country is doing it in its own way and often multiplying the processes at airports, with more and more traffic as the summer progresses and restrictions are lifted. As a result, the Community Executive has published this Thursday guidelines to the countries, which are the ones with powers over their borders, to reduce “fragmentation.” That is, chaos.

“A European Commission survey has shown that there are 15 different forms of certificate verification in the EU, some of which involve avoidable duplication”, Brussels states: “If the verification has been done reliably before departure, there is no medical reason for additional verifications of the same certificate later during the trip. ”

According to the European Commission in its recommendations to the Government, “the verification of digital certificates is intended to avoid bottlenecks, thus reducing possible crowding times and queues at airports, especially at peak times. large crowds to reduce the risk of potential COVID-19 infections. The specific form and timing of verification will influence the extent to which bottlenecks are avoided. While the situation has not yet led to significant congestion, EU airports are operating with approximately 45% of passenger traffic volume compared to 2019. ”

In some Member States, airline operators are verifying EU digital COVID Certificates, so it is important that they are provided with the necessary verification software: “According to a recent survey by the Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe) , the main problems encountered by operators are the multiplication of controls (64%) and verification at airport facilities (54%). In the same survey, 82% of operators declared that the EU digital COVID certificates they are not verified outside the airport before departure. ”

In this sense, Brussels insists that “there are 15 different ways to organize the verification process. Some, for example, have decided to transfer the responsibility of verifying the certificate to the airports, while others have imposed this obligation on the airlines and some both. Many Member States have also opted for public authorities to verify the certificate of passengers arriving in the country. ”

In this regard, Brussels “strongly recommends that Member States and transport service operators ensure that verification is carried out as soon as possible, preferably during an airline’s online check-in process or via a website. of a Member State. EU governments must ensure that the verification is carried out as soon as possible and preferably before the passenger arrives at the departure airport to avoid multiple formalities. ”

Indeed, Brussels suggests that verification during a website created for it by public authorities, “has the advantages of verifying documents in one place and before arriving at the departure airport and does not require a technical implementation that is too complex. In this scenario, the combination of the certificate verification with the passenger location form could be established [PLF] of the Member State in digital format and other measures or health requirements “.

The Commission understands that “this would also have the advantage of verifying the health documents of the passengers in one place and before arriving at the departure airport”.

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