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Are the EU’s vaccine passports ageist?

European leaders will meet in Brussels on March 25 to further debate and discuss the Digital Green Certificate proposal.

The European Commission’s plan to roll out a Digital Green Certificate, or vaccine passport, may open up borders but could discriminate against those who have not yet been vaccinated…

Hailed as a lifeline by a beleaguered travel industry, vaccine passports will combine information on Covid-19 tests, vaccinations and virus recovery to allow safe and free movement within the EU during the pandemic. 

However, fears have been raised that the system could create a two-tiered Europe and be subject to abuse by venues and restaurants requiring people to show their certificates upon entry. 

“Only the over 50s will be vaccinated by this summer, so there may well be protests from younger people,” Kaye McIntosh, former editor of Health Which? and WI Life, tells CNN Travel. “It adds to the sense of generational unfairness created by austerity, house prices and student loans. I wouldn’t blame Gen Z for being angry.”

And as Member States prepare for a “coordinated approach to a gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions” once the epidemiological situation allows, the move has come under fire from the younger generation who could see their holiday plans grounded this summer. 

“To put it bluntly, it’s not fair,” Norbert Hidi, a 24-year-old student from Budapest, Hungary, tells CNN Travel. “Most of us won’t have been inoculated by the summer so that means we can’t travel or possibly go to bars or restaurants. The older generation have had the vaccines first because they are most at risk, but it shouldn’t mean they have more rights because of it.”

McIntosh adds: “The right not to be exposed to a deadly disease outweigh the rights of the unvaccinated. Maybe that will change if vaccination eventually means Covid-19 becomes something more ordinary, such as seasonal flu – although that still kills thousands of people every year.

But no vaccine is 100% effective so even people who have had the jab are still at risk.”

Read Nathan Kay’s full CNN article here.

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Nathan Kay

Nathan has had thousands of articles published globally and has worked for many leading publications. His work has been featured in The Mail on Sunday, CNN, MailOnline, Grazia (UK), Daily Mail, Metro (US), The Sunday People, Ahlan!, and others. He graduated with a degree in Media & Society and holds a postgraduate qualification in Psychological Therapies from Queen Mary University in London.

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