Hungary to seek vaccine certificate bilateral deals

Photo: EPA Gergely Gulyas

Hungary's government is to make bilateral agreements recognising Covid-19 vaccine certificates that would allow citizens to travel among participating countries, the PMr's chief of staff said. The talks will be held by the foreign ministry, Gergely Gulyas pointed out.

While countries around the world are looking at a host of options to show proof of Covid-19 vaccinations to allow travel, border agencies, airports and airlines are worried there will be no clear global standard that will be accepted at all borders.

"The government has authorised the foreign minister to make bilateral agreements about recognising vaccine certificates ... with all countries that are open to this," Gulyas told an online briefing. "We would like to have the rights linked to these certificates mutually recognised with these countries," he added.

Hungary is the only EU country to authorise and deploy Russian and Chinese shots before they have been approved by the bloc's drugs regulator. As of Tuesday, Hungary had received 3.5 million Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines and 3.6 million shots under the EU's procurement process, including from Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

Meanwhile it became clear that new easing measures would take effect on Saturday as the vaccination rate surpasses 40% for people with at least one shot. As the deadliest wave of the coronavirus slowly recedes and large shipments from both eastern and western sources arrive there are enough vaccines in the country to inoculate everyone who has registered, PM Viktor Orban said.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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