Spain says EU vaccine certificates to be ready in June at latest

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Spain's Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya and Colombia's Foreign Minister Claudia Blum sign the new cooperation strategy between the governments of Colombia and Spain, in Bogota

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain expects digital vaccine certificates to ease travel within the European Union will be ready in June at the latest, foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said on Wednesday.

Faced with a pandemic that has killed more than 900,000 people in Europe and thrust the continent into its deepest recession, EU leaders agreed last month to work on vaccine certificates to kick-start the tourism, which has been hit hard.

"We are in Brussels with a proposal made by the Commission to the European Parliament," Gonzalez Laya told Onda Cero radio station, saying the parliament had agreed to fast track the certificates to ease travel in Europe.

The vaccine certificates would not prevent non-vaccinated people from travelling, Gonzalez Laya said, but people with the certificate would go through borders faster while others would have to go through all the existing controls.

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo, Anita Kobylinska and Inti Landauro; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Edmund Blair)