BRUSSELS (AP) – The‘s executive branch proposed Monday to ease restrictions on travels to the 27-member bloc as vaccination campaigns keep gathering speed.
Travel to theis currently extremely limited except for a handful of countries with low infection rates. But with the summer season looming, the hopes that the new recommendations will help dramatically expand that list.
“Theproposes to allow entry to the 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 -authorized vaccine,” the EU’s executive arm said.
officials believe the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns will soon be “a game changer” in the fight against the deadly virus, especially within the bloc and the border-free Schengen zone. Its proposal will be discussed with member states’ ambassadors this week and the hopes it could enter into force by June,
Under the‘s executive arm’s proposal, countries should allow travelers from third countries into the if they have been vaccinated with serums approved for use in the region. Member states could also individually decide to accept travelers immunized with vaccines listed by WHO for emergency use.
Thealso 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.
“Non-essential travel regardless of individual vaccination status is currently permitted from seven countries with a good epidemiological situation,” thesaid, proposing to increase the threshold of 14-day cumulative COVID-19 case notification rate per 100,000 inhabitants from 25 to 100.
“This remains considerably below the currentaverage, which is over 420,” the said.
It was unclear which countries would actually make the cut but anofficial who was not authorized to be quoted because the proposal has yet to be adopted said Israel would definitely be on the list.
proposed to introduce 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,” it said.
officials and member states are also in discussions to introduce COVID-19 certificates aimed at facilitating travel across the region this summer. The ’s executive arm has proposed that the so-called digital green certificates should be delivered to 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.
“Until the Digital Green Certificate is operational, member states should be able to accept certificates from non-countries,” the said, adding that children who are excluded from vaccination should be able to travel with their vaccinated parents if they provide a negative PCR test.
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