EU Covid-19 certificates: tough luck for the unvaccinated?

The European Parliament on Thursday approved the introduction of EU Covid-19 certificates, which are intended to facilitate travel this summer. The member states, which are expected to align the certificates with their own national vaccination certificates and systems, are discussing the details of the scheme in the European Council. Commentators avidly discuss whether the document could result in discrimination against those who haven't been vaccinated.

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Evenimentul Zilei (RO) /

Heading for a health apartheid

Evenimentul Zilei roundly rejects the idea of Covid-19 certificates:

“As far as fundamental rights and freedoms at the domestic level are concerned, the individual states will pretend that they can do nothing to prevent private companies from demanding vaccination certificates. Under the generous pretext of protecting customers, such certificates will be required in all sorts of situations: in restaurants, supermarkets, subways and commuter buses, at concerts and outside public toilets. It's ironic that anti-racism and anti-discrimination have become mandatory doctrine in today's society while we are heading straight for a global health apartheid.”

Lrt (LT) /

Fuelling anger

Lrt believes the plans will further fuel social tensions:

“It looks like only those who have had their second jab will get this passport. This means that those who were vaccinated this month with AstraZeneca won't get one until July. ... Those who received a different jab can look forward to the passport earlier. ... So the right thing would be to wait for mass vaccination to be completed. But when will this happen? At the end of May, in June? That would mean that the majority would not receive the vaccination passport until autumn. This will cause even more anger in society than there is already. And how is this supposed to work from a technical point of view? With a piece of paper or electronically? ... Any technical glitch would only increase the people's anger.”

wPolityce.pl (PL) /

That won't work here

There will be fierce opposition in Poland to privileges for those who have been vaccinated, wPolityce.pl predicts:

“The Poles are an extremely egalitarian nation, at least when it comes to people's rights. They are a nation that even finds it difficult to endure restrictions that are extremely mild compared to those imposed on their neighbours. Solutions that border on discrimination or could be interpreted as such won't be easily accepted here. Even if the government were to propose such solutions, in the end they wouldn't be introduced because of the fierce social opposition to them.”

Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

This is not discrimination

Action can be taken against unfair privileges, counters Corriere del Ticino:

“In order to not undermine the freedom of those who decide against the vaccines that are currently available, those who have recovered from Covid-19 and those who can present a negative test result no more than three days old can also obtain a vaccination certificate. ... The most important thing is that everyone who wants to have access to the vaccine should get it as soon as possible. Otherwise there would be a risk that people have to undergo (and possibly pay for) a long series of tests just to be able to move around. Now that would be discrimination.”

Mandiner (HU) /

The common good takes precedence

It's perfectly legitimate to allow the unvaccinated fewer freedoms, Mandiner adds:

“No matter how resolutely one advocates the ideology of complete equality, in many cases distinctions between people are self-evident and justified. ... Those who put others at risk by not being vaccinated must expect to be excluded from certain places. There are communal rights that have a higher priority than individual ones.”