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COVID-19 Coronavirus: European Commission, easing restrictions and allowing “non-essential travel” to the EU

Easing restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU so as to take into account the progress of vaccination campaigns and developments in the epidemiological situation worldwide. This is what the European Commission proposed today. According to Brussels, it is now time to allow entry into the EU not only to all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation but also to all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine (or vaccines having completed the WHO process – the Commission proposed). These people would have the right to enter without presenting a negative PCR test or undergo quarantine. Certificates issued by Member States will be required before the Digital Green Certificate becomes operational. This also applies to non-EU citizens, provided the authenticity, validity and integrity of their certificate can be verified. For the Commission, it is also time to increase the threshold of “14-day cumulative COVID-19 case notification rate” (from 25 to 100 cases) for the list of countries from which all travel should be permitted. To face the spread of new variants, the Commission would like to introduce a joint “emergency brake”, to limit the risk of such variants entering the EU. This mechanism 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”.

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