The EU agrees to travel without restrictions for vaccinated while a dozen countries require additional tests

Brussels warns that vaccinated restrictions are not justified


The Twenty-seven have adopted this Tuesday a revision of the travel restrictions to adapt them to the health situation of the traveler and not to the risk of coronavirus in the area from which they travel, which means that the holders of a Covid Certificate will be able to travel without additional restrictions. from anywhere in the EU, despite the fact that a dozen European governments are already failing to comply with the recommendations agreed by the bloc.

The objective is to simplify the mobility rules during the pandemic and that until now had to be based on the “traffic light map” prepared by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) based on epidemiological criteria and establishes the level of risk pandemic in each region.

In this way, travelers with an EU Covid Certificate that certifies their complete vaccination, their recent recovery from the disease or a negative test prior to travel will be able to travel between Member States without further restrictions, thus being exempt, for example, from quarantines. or additional diagnostic tests upon arrival at destination.

Specifically, the vaccination certificate will be valid for nine months unless the person receives a booster dose, in which case it will be extended indefinitely. As for diagnostic tests, the PCR will be maintained for a maximum period of 72 hours, while the antigen test is reduced from 48 to 24 hours.

The EU’s General Affairs ministers have given their approval to the changes that will come into force from next February 1, although they are recommendations and not binding rules for national authorities.

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Member States have the power to control their borders, so governments may not follow these guidelines despite having agreed to them at Twenty-seven.

In fact, at least a dozen countries have already moved away from the current recommendations and impose additional restrictions on travelers with an EU Covid Certificate who travel to their territory, for example requiring tests for those vaccinated, including France, Italy, Portugal, Germany or the Netherlands.


For this reason, the European Commission has taken advantage of the review of the recommendations to warn these countries that the additional restrictions introduced to stop the advance of the omicron variant are no longer justified, given that this variant is already widely present in all member states.

“We ask all member states to quickly apply the common rules to ensure coordination and clarity for our citizens and travellers,” Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said, demanding compliance “without delay” with the revised recommendation.

The vice president of the Community Executive responsible for Interinstitutional Relations, Maros Sefcovic, has insisted for his part on the need to guarantee that vaccinated Europeans will have “easier” travel within the community territory and will not have to face additional restrictions.

“The measures must be proportionate and those vaccinated are much better protected,” Sefcovic reasoned, at a press conference after the meeting of European ministers.

In the case of the validity of the vaccination certificate, which the European Commission has set with the endorsement of the countries at nine months if the patient does not have a booster dose, several Member States have also moved away from the slogan and reduced the period of validity.

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Asked about this matter upon his arrival at the meeting of European ministers, the French Secretary of State for the EU and current president of the EU, Clément Beaune, admitted that it cannot be “guaranteed” that all the EU countries will to comply with the “European framework”.

However, Beaune has trusted that they will not go “further” because the Certificate is already “strict and protective” and because it would fall back into “fragmentation” within the EU.

The Secretary of State for the Spanish EU, Pascual Ignacio Navarro Ríos, for his part, has considered it a “great advance” that the 27 review the travel recommendations to adapt them to the medical situation of the traveler and not to the place from which he travels, while pointing out that this is the approach followed by Spain.

On the possibility of moving towards a management of the pandemic in which the coronavirus is considered an endemic disease, as suggested by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, Navarro Ríos has pointed out that the reflection has already reached the heart of the EU but it is still at a very early stage of discussion.

“It is a debate that has just begun at the level of working groups, of experts”, the Spanish Secretary of State told the press, to indicate that the debate has begun “with all prudence” and that it will not rise to the until the opinions of the experts have been heard and analysed.


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