EU lawmakers have endorsed a travel certificate that will allow people to move between European countries without having to quarantine or undergo extra Covid-19 tests, paving the way for the pass to start in time for summer.
The widely awaited certificate – also referred to as “vaccine passport” – is aimed at saving Europe’s travel industry and prime tourist sites from another disastrous vacation season.
The new regulations were adopted on Wednesday in two votes at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The vote has to be rubber-stamped by EU nations, but that’s a formality. Starting July 1 for a year, all EU countries must recognise the vaccine certificate. They will be issued free and certify that a person has either been fully vaccinated against the virus, has recently tested negative or has recovered from the disease.
47,381 wild animals sold in Wuhan from 2017-19
A scientific paper in China has found that over 47,000 live wild animals were sold from wet markets in Wuhan between 2017 and 2019 before the first cases of Covid-19 were reported from the city. Researched by international scientists, the paper says 47,381 animals from 38 species were sold in 17 markets between May 2017 and November 2019, including 31 protected species.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken cast doubt on the methodology of a report on the origin of Covid-19 that reportedly concluded the virus may have leaked from a Wuhan lab. He said the report originated after the Trump administration asked a contractor to look into the origin of the virus.
(With inputs from Sutirtho Patranobis)