EU recommends letting fully Covid-19 vaccinated travellers into bloc

James Marshall
May 4, 2021

Meanwhile, plans for a so-called digital green cert to facilitate travel between EU countries have now been passed by the European Parliament.

Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said: "This is an extremely important announcement that will pave the way for the reopening of the EU's tourism and travel industry in time for the peak summer season".

People drink coffee outdoor at Lola cafe-bar in Petralona, district of Athens, Cafes and restaurants have reopened in Greece for sit-down service for the first time in almost six months.

The European Commission proposed easing restrictions on business and leisure travel for those who have been fully inoculated against Covid-19, adding to signs of a gradual return to normalcy as vaccinations gather pace.

People sit in on a cafe terrace, in the Monastiraki district of Athens, with the ancient Acropolis hill in the background.

As it stands, though, neither Russia's Sputnik V vaccine nor ones made by China would be included, excluding jabs that are used in dozens of lower-income countries.

The proposal has been sent to the Member States on Monday, May 3, over a month ahead of the planned launch of the COVID-19 EU Travel Certificates, through which the EU bodies intend to restore travel within the block as soon as possible.

In future, the list could also be expanded to include vaccines approved by the World Health Organization.

"If we stay out, that would mean we would be very much isolated in terms of access to Europe", he said.

The new parameters would replace a current blanket ban for non-essential travel to the European Union for residents of all but a handful of countries that has been in place for more than a year.

Hundreds of people wait in lines for a Moderna vaccination in a vaccination mobile on a square at the district Chorweiler in Cologne, Germany.

The proposals are due to be discussed today (Tuesday) and tomorrow.

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher said Ireland should opt-in to the new rules now to ensure we are not left behind later in the summer.

However, he added: "It is frustrating that the United Kingdom has not gone down the same road, with ministers here still reluctant to acknowledge that we can be more ambitious with our own plans, taking advantage of one of the most impressive vaccination programmes in the world, alongside quicker, cheaper testing and our globally renowned genomic sequencing capability".

To face the situation, the EU Commission said that it proposes a "new emergency brake mechanism" to limit the risk of the new variants entering the EU.

But for now, it envisions that travelers who have official confirmation that they are fully vaccinated will be able to submit that proof to European countries in exchange for entering.

A woman takes a smartphone photograph as a healthcare worker administers a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination center inside the Fira de Barcelona exhibition space in Barcelona, Spain.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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