The European Union is scheduled to allow for people to travel within the continent again starting 1 July. Flyers will need to have digital certificates showing that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can do so. But airports and airlines are worried that the latter part of the process will be chaotic.
Reuters reports that airports group ACI and airlines representative bodies A4E, IATA and ERA are concerned about the “worrying patchwork of approaches” in the implementation of the digital certificate. The letter contains suggestions to improve the system, which may be an indicator of its current state.
For one, the letter says that the “only way” to avoid huge queues and delays was to make it so that vaccination certificate and passenger locator forms are processed remotely before the passenger even arrives at the airport. It also adds that checks must only take place in the country of departure and not on arrival.
National governments should also manage the health data, as well as provide the equipment to check the QR codes of the certificate. The letter also implies that there is a lot of redundant document checks in a number of places.
As it is, navigating airports during a journey in the EU is taking three hours. This is double the usual amount of time taken pre-pandemic. And if none of these issues are resolved, it could lead to delays of up to an additional five hours.