EU Green Certificates Already Threatening Lack of Tourism Clarity

By 20 March 2021

March the 20th, 2021 - The much talked about EU Green Certificates which will allow for easier travel within the bloc are already posing potential issues for Croatian tourism and they haven't even been agreed upon or approved yet.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak/Marija Crnjak writes, which vaccine will be accepted on the digital EU Green Certificates for travel is the main dilemma that arose the very day after the European Commission (EC) presented its idea for this model of free travel within the borders of the European Union (EU).

In addition to the above, it isn't yet entirely clear how the EU Green Certificates and their control will work with car tourists passing through several countries to reach their final destinations, each of which has the potential to have its own interpretation of typically strung out, complicated EU regulations and the recognition of both vaccines and certificates.

It doesn't apply to third countries

As is well known, the EC proposal, which has yet to be ratified by the Council and Parliament, states that only vaccines registered by the European Medicines Agency will be recognised by the EU Green Certificates at the European Union level, and it is up to individual member states to decide whether or not to quarantine or receive guests who have received vaccines not registered by the EMA.

These are, for example, guests from Russia, China, but also Hungary, which imported the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik, as well as countries in the region outside the EU, such as neighbouring Serbia. The Ministry of Tourism has since clarified that the mentioned EC proposal doesn't even refer to third countries.

"As a tourist country, Croatia welcomes any document that will facilitate tourist movement through uniform and predictable rules. In the forthcoming discussions within the Council, which must agree on the final version of the document, we'll strive that the announced EU Green Certificates, in whatever form they happen to be, doesn't represent a restrictive factor for free movement, we'll also make sure it isn't in any way discriminatoryIn parallel with the preparations for the adoption of this document at the EU level, the Croatian Government regularly coordinates positions regarding the conditions of crossing the border, taking into account the epidemiological situation. The proper facilitation of movement with the member states of the European Union, as well as with third countries, is also being intensively discussed," the Ministry said.

Minister Nikolina Brnjac met recently with British Ambassador Andrew Dalgleish, which officially opened a conversation between the two sides on facilitating travel, and said that Croatia would be ready to receive tourists from the UK as soon as epidemiological rules in Britain, which is currently under lockdown, allow for it.

Predictability and assurance for business entities

In addition, the Ministry pointed out that the Croatian Government, in order to ensure predictability for business entities in tourism, will make a timely and detailed decision on the conditions for tourists to enter Croatia, which will be in force at least until the establishment of a common European model. It follows that the controversial so-called Covid passports will not play a crucial role in tourist traffic.

At a recent conference organised by the Office of the European Parliament in Croatia, MEPs generally welcomed the idea of ​​introducing the EU Green Certificates, which they do not consider to be discriminatory, but they point out that there will still be discussions about possible changes to that proposal.

Valter Flego stated that we can talk about some concrete effects of these passes for tourism only during the month of June, but the model will significantly reduce the cost of travel because tourists won't have to pay for tests or for translations of various certificates.

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