European Union (EU) officials have;proposed a European Commission plan, which seeks to ease restrictions on travels;to the 27-member bloc by the start of June.
This, officials say, is to allow holidaymakers from countries with low Covid infection rates,;and anyone who has been fully vaccinated to travel to the bloc for the summer break.
Travel to the EU is currently extremely limited to a handful of countries with low infection rates. However, officials hope that with the summer season approaching, the new recommendations will help expand that list.
“The Commission proposes to allow entry to the EU for nonessential reasons;not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation,;but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorized vaccine”.European Commission plan
EU officials also believe the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns;will soon be “a game changer” in the fight against the deadly virus,;especially within the bloc. The proposal will be;discussed;with member states’ ambassadors this week and the Commission hopes it could enter into force by June.
Under the European Commission plan, EU countries should allow travellers from third countries into the EU;if they have been;vaccinated from Covid with doses approved for use in the region. Also, member states could individually decide to accept travellers inoculated with vaccines listed by WHO for emergency use.
The Commission has also proposed to “raise the threshold related to the number of new COVID-19 cases used to determine the list of countries from which all travel should be permitted.”
‘Emergency brake mechanism’ to stop variants
EU officials have also revealed that the European Commission plan will have in place an “emergency brake” mechanism aimed at stopping dangerous virus variants from entering the bloc.
“This will allow member states to act quickly and temporarily limit to a strict minimum, all travel from affected countries for the time needed to put in place appropriate sanitary measures”.European Commission plan
The only exceptions, according to officials, would be healthcare professionals, transport personnel, diplomats, transit passengers, those travelling for imperative family reasons, seafarers, and people in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons. They would;instead be subject to strict testing and quarantine arrangements even if they had;been;vaccinated.
EU officials and member states are also in discussions to introduce COVID-19 certificates aimed at facilitating travel across the region this summer.
Some members of the bloc have proposed that “Digital Green Certificates” should be delivered to EU residents who can prove they have been vaccinated and also to those who tested negative for the virus or have proof they recovered from it.
Officials posited that “until the Digital Green Certificate is operational, member states should be able to accept certificates from non-EU countries”. They added that children, who are excluded from vaccination, should be able to travel with their vaccinated parents if they provide a negative PCR test.