– The adoption of the Digital Green Certificate (COVID-19 certificate) would brighten up the prospects of air travel. In addition to stepping up vaccinations, it is definitely the most important of the measures to facilitate travel. With the help of an EU-wide COVID-19 certificate, the aviation and tourism industry could begin to recover safely and responsibly, says Finavia's CEO Kimmo Mäki.
– We have a clear indication of pent-up demand for travelling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses need customer contacts in order to succeed. People want to be able to move, go on holiday and meet each other. Travelling is an intrinsic part of modern life, Mäki continues.
According to the latest survey by the European Travel Commission (ETC), 54% of Europeans aim to make a trip before the end of July, and 41% wish to travel abroad to another European country. According to a survey conducted by the International Air Traffic Association (IATA), 68% of the respondents feel that their quality of life has suffered with travel restrictions.
– For Finland, air traffic and tourism have significant economic cascading effects, so getting the industry back on its feet is vital. The industry provides work for over 140,000 people and accounts for almost three per cent of GDP. That is more than, for example, the share of the forest industry, says Mäki.
The EU Commission has proposed that the member states would deploy the Digital Green Certificate as early as June for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the transfer of health information from one country to another requires precise legislation.
In Finland, too, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is preparing an electronic vaccination certificate for the My Kanta service. It would include information on the person's COVID-19 vaccination status. According to the Kanta Services website of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA), the Finnish vaccination certificate would be compatible with the international model.
A commentary by Kimmo Mäki: Helsinki Airport lives on international transfer travel
A commentary by Tuomas Pitkänen: Air travel and tourism have significant cascade effects on Finnish businesses
Source: ACI press release, 17 March 2021