Covid-19 certificate will be a signal for travel in EU, Germany says
- European affairs ministers met on Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the details of the "green certificate" that the EU aims to introduce in June, but talks between the European Commission, EU lawmakers and EU governments have yet to reach an agreement.
Germany hopes for a swift agreement on a Covid-19 certificate that could allow citizens to travel more easily in the European Union, as more and more countries are opening up amid falling infection rates ahead of the summer holiday season.
European affairs ministers met on Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the details of the "green certificate" that the EU aims to introduce in June, but talks between the European Commission, EU lawmakers and EU governments have yet to reach an agreement.
German Europe Minister Michael Roth told reporters he hoped for a solution within weeks.
"This is not only important for countries depending on tourism but for all of us: It is ... a clear signal for freedom of movement and for mobility in the European Union," Roth said in Brussels.
"We should send a clear message that we are making progress. This is very important with a view to the summer," he added.
The pass would allow those vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or with negative test results to move more easily in the 27-nation bloc, where restrictions on movement have weighed heavily on the travel and tourist industry for over a year.
As the vaccination campaign in the EU is gaining speed with 200 million jabs delivered and Covid-19 infections rates falling, Europe is starting to reopen cities and beaches, raising hopes for the summer holiday season.
The Kremlin on Wednesday accused Kyiv authorities of not wanting to continue talks to end hostilities that started after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into pro-Western Ukraine. "Talks are indeed not moving forward and we note the complete lack of will of Ukrainian negotiators to continue this process," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
North Korea said Wednesday more than a million people have already recovered from suspected COVID-19 just a week after disclosing an outbreak it appears to be trying to manage in isolation as global experts express deep concern about the public health threat. The country's anti-virus headquarters announced 232,880 new cases of fever and another six deaths in state media Wednesday. It said at least 691,170 remain in quarantine.
Canada's House of Commons has voted to reappoint a special committee to examine the country's relationship with China, despite opposition from the ruling Liberal Party. The motion in this regard was moved by the opposition Conservative Party and received support from the other major groups - the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois. It will comprise 12-members, six each from the ruling party and opposition ranks.
A fourth person has been arrested and charged by Canadian law enforcement in connection with a series of robberies and vandalisations in places of worship, mainly Hindu temples, in the province of Ontario between November 2021 and March this year. Gurdeep Pandher, 37, resident of the town of Brampton in the Greater Toronto Area, was arrested and charged by Peel Regional Police, a spokesperson for them informed the Hindustan Times.
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison batted away Covid-19 worries three days ahead of federal elections, claiming many reported deaths are not caused by the virus and vowing not to interfere in people's lives. Australia detected 66 Covid-related deaths and more than 53,000 infections in the previous 24 hours -- far more than six months ago when daily numbers generally showed fewer than 20 deaths and 2,000 infections.