Luxembourg is pushing the European governments to adopt uniform rules on COVID-19 vaccination certificates in a bid to enable free movement within internal borders, as infection rates across the 27-nation-bloc spike.
As a response to the unsafe epidemiological situation, the Austrian government has ordered a national lockdown earlier this week, whereas the Netherlands reintroduced social distancing and other countries anticipated to announce similar restrictions in the upcoming weeks, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In a meeting with EU foreign ministers held earlier this week, the Luxembourg Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn, emphasized the importance of adopting standardized COVID-19 related measures, especially after countries started tightening entry rules in the EU.
The same warned that diverse approaches on COVID-19 vaccine certificates between member countries could have a negative impact on free movement and the everyday lives of cross-border commuters, 200,000 of which come from Luxembourg itself. He also noted that the EU should seek consensus on the documents’ validity.
In Luxembourg, for example, booster shots are being administered to people over 18 years old, but vaccine certificates will remain valid without the third dose. On the other hand, in France, it is mandatory for people over 65 years old to get a booster shot as of December 15 for their covid certificate to remain valid.
Previously, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the European Commission plans to reduce vaccination passports’ validity from 12 to nine months. For those unable or unwilling to get their third booster shots, a COVID-19 test will be required when travelling to other countries.
The recent developments have caused protests in the EU member states to erupt, with protesters calling Austria’s lockdown expected to last about 20 days unnecessary. In addition, protesters in the Netherlands have clashed with the police, fired fireworks and caused damage in the cities after the government imposed the rule of wearing face-covering for areas of venues where the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate is not required. About 145 people were arrested in these protests by the Dutch police.
Moreover, over 3,000 Italian protesters gathered in Rome to protest the Green Pass requirements.
For similar reasons, protesters took it to the street to oppose the decision imposed by the Belgian government, which also continued to require workers to work from home four days a week until December 15.
Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, also witnessed protests against the new rules for public sector workers to be vaccinated. Moreover, two test centres were set on fire In Germany, causing €20,000 worth of damage.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) data shows that the number of positive cases in Europe during the last seven days has reached 3,847,308, in addition to 51,781 deaths caused by implications with COVID-19.