EC Lifts Restrictions on Non-Essential Travel amid Rapid Vaccine Rollout
The European Commission announced it suggested waiving a number of restrictions for travelers in the European Union. The decision is related to all non-essential travels that had been banned, EC said in official statement. The decision follows the rapid vaccine rollout in EU and the recommendations of health officials. “The Commission proposes that Member States lift restrictions on non-essential travel for vaccinated persons traveling to the EU. This reflects the latest scientific advice showing that vaccination considerably helps to break the transmission chain”, EC said.
The 27-nation bloc currently allows citizens of seven countries to come on holidays or for other non-essential reasons and the European Commission's proposal would expand that list.
“Member States should allow travel into the EU of those people who have received, at least 14 days before arrival, the last recommended dose of a vaccine having received marketing authorization in the EU. Member States could also extend this to those vaccinated with a vaccine having completed the WHO emergency use listing process”, the statement said. In addition, if Member States decide to waive the requirements to present a negative PCR test and/or to undergo quarantine for vaccinated persons on their territory, they should also waive such requirements for vaccinated travelers from outside the EU.
To limit the risk of importing new variants of the coronavirus, the Commission also offered a new "emergency break" that would allow introducing swift travel restrictions for countries where the health situation deteriorates sharply. EU member states are due to start discussing the proposal on Tuesday. Their agreement is needed to put it into effect.
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