“In the future, it will certainly be good to have such a certificate, but that will not mean that only those who have such a passport will be able to travel,” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said after the meeting last week.
Vaccination efforts in the European Union have generally gotten a sluggish start. Just 5 percent of the bloc’s population has received at least one shot of vaccine so far. But the certificates will go beyond vaccination status to include the holder’s wider medical history concerning the virus, according to Christian Wigand, the commission’s spokesman.
“We will also be looking at other categories of information to avoid discrimination of citizens, such as test results and statements of recovery,” Mr. Wigand said on Monday.
Getting the system set up and issuing certificates would take at least three months, the commission said. It was not immediately clear what legislative and technical steps would be required, nor whether the system would extend beyond European Union citizens.
The commission said there should be a way to scale it up globally, in cooperation with the World Health Organization. But when pressed for further details, Mr. Wigand asked for “a little bit of patience,” explaining that “this is all very fresh.”