Some countries in southern Europe such as Spain, here the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, hope that the vaccine passport can promote tourism.

The heads of state and government of the European Union will agree on Thursday to work on vaccination passports for citizens of the bloc who have received a vaccine against Covid-19, while the countries of the South very dependent on tourism hope be able to save the summer vacation season.

With the acceleration of the roll-out of coronavirus vaccines, some governments - foremost among them Greece and Spain - are pushing for rapid adoption of a vaccine passport valid throughout the EU to once again allow travel between member countries.

However, several other countries such as France and Germany appear more reluctant to this idea, representatives having warned that this could establish a de facto vaccination requirement for travel and would discriminate against those unable or unwilling to receive an injection. vaccine.

No timetable specified

France, where a significant part of the population has reservations against vaccines, and where the government has promised not to make vaccination compulsory, considers the idea of ​​a vaccination passport to be "premature". A French representative said on Wednesday.

"We call for continued work on a common approach on vaccine passports," is it written in a draft press release of the "Twenty-Seven" that Reuters was able to consult ahead of the summit by videoconference on Thursday.

No timetable is specified in the document.

Officials say the EU is working with the International Air Transport Association, which hopes to boost air travel, as well as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

But they added that the hypothesis of travel with medical passport also raised legal questions, since citizens not having priority during vaccination campaigns could argue that their freedom of movement is unfairly restricted for months.

"There is still a lot that we don't know"

Some European representatives also point out that no recommendation has yet been given by the WHO or the European agencies concerning the possibility that people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus can infect other people, even if they are not more vulnerable themselves.

"There is still a lot that we don't know," said a senior official from an EU member country.

"We need more time to reach a common line," he added.

Time is running out, however, for the countries of the South, where the tourism sector needs visibility for the coming months, which suggests the hypothesis of individual measures in certain countries despite the official position of a search for a common solution to the EU.