EU sets June 15 launch date for digital green pass

Ian Taylor

The EU has confirmed a planned launch date of June 15 for ‘digital green certificates’ for travel, but UK industry sources warn there is “a lot to work through” before vaccination certificates are in use. EU leaders pledged to develop

certification “as a matter of urgency” at a summit last week while agreeing restrictions on travel must remain. The UK government insisted

it has made no decisions on certification pending a review by Cabinet Office minister Michael

Gove. However, Gove told MPs that the agency behind the government’s contact-tracing app is developing digital vaccine certification. A leading industry source warned:

“Getting a digital solution by travel’s opening date will be a huge challenge. There are a lot of data issues to work through. We’d like certificates by the summer, but tying it to the domestic piece wouldn’t make sense. The need is greatest on international travel where some countries will require it.” A second industry source said:

“Domestic use doesn’t matter as long as we accept the EU digital green

Getting a solution

by travel’s opening date will be a huge challenge. There are a lot of data issues

pass. But are we going to have the systems in place? “At the moment, certification is

far too paper-based, too disparate with too many systems, and too many

The UK

government has yet to decide

whether to approve

vaccination certification for travel

data issues. We need to do the work. We’ll probably see it, but later. The UK is unlikely to have a system in place to do vaccination certificates any time soon.” Air France-KLM chief Ben Smith

welcomed the EU decision, but pointed out: “We’ve been calling for a coordinated approach for a year. We still don’t have one. We still don’t have a common passenger locator form in the EU. At the last count there were 13 [and] most member states have different testing regimes.”

Insurers wriggle to avoid payouts £250k

Juliet Dennis

Agents are struggling to successfully claim business interruption insurance despite a court ruling in favour of small firms. In January, the Supreme Court

ordered insurers to pay out on business interruption policies for companies affected by Covid-19, a ruling described by the industry as “some of the best news” in months. But two months on, many agents

have been advised their claims would be rejected, while holders with valid claims say insurers are trying to find ways to avoid paying full amounts due. Business interruption insurance protects businesses against financial

loss. Most policies state there must be physical damage to premises for a claim, but some extend to notifiable human diseases. Advantage Travel Partnership,

which has employed a loss assessor to help with claims, said 60 out of 70 members advised so far had been told they would not succeed, while just 10 were likely to be successful. Head of business development

David Moon said he had hoped the figure would be “a bit higher” but added: “I’d still encourage agents who have not done so to contact their underwriter about a claim. You might be one of those in the ‘lucky’ camp.” Despite being rejected, Bailey’s Travel owner Chris Bailey aims

Value of rejected claim made by Bailey’s Travel

to take a class action. He is urging agents with Axa policies through broker James Hallam to contact him. Bailey, who hoped to claim up to £250,000 for lost earnings, said: “A lot of insurers are trying to wriggle out of paying based on the policy wording. “I suspect there could be hundreds

of agents with the same policy.” Graeme Brett, director of Westoe

Travel, was told by the Financial Services Ombudsman he would not

chairman Peter Cookson said insurers were trying to reduce payouts. He said: “The latest ploy is they

will only pay out on loss of profits on British, not foreign, holidays, and they are deducting furlough pay and government grants from claims. It’s a disgrace. Loads of people have dropped claims because they’ve had enough.” The Travel Bureau also has a valid

claim. Joint managing director Jeanne Lally said: “I’m cautiously optimistic but we’re prepared for a battle.”

1 APRIL 2021 7

succeed as his policy listed specific rather than ‘all’ notifiable diseases. He said: “We were told by the broker the policy covered business interruption insurance as standard.” Spear Travels has a valid claim but

PICTURE: Shutterstock

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