EU To Lift Non-Essential Travel Ban For Vaccinated Travellers
Citizens of third countries who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as those who have recovered from the virus, are suggested to be allowed to travel for non-essential reasons starting on March 1, 2022, in accordance with European Union recommendations.
During a meeting to review the recommendations for temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the blocs Council noted that the newly introduced recommendations are being considered in light of the pandemics progression and the high proportion of the worlds population that has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
As stated in a press release issued today, February 22, “the amendments introduced to respond to the evolution of pandemic, the increasing vaccination uptake and administration of booster doses, and the recognition of a growing number of certificates issued by third countries as equivalent to the EU digital COVID certificate,” the Council of Ministers said.
The same document further emphasises that the amended guideline will become effective on March 1, 2019.
As recommended by the European Council, non-essential travellers who have been vaccinated with one of the vaccinations that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) should be permitted admission into EU countries (WHO).
However, pre-departure COVID-19 test results may be necessary for travellers who have received vaccinations that have been authorised by the WHO but not by the EMA.
All travellers must have had a vaccination at least 14 days before to their journey to an EU country, but no more than 270 days prior to their trip in order to be allowed to enter as vaccinated individuals. In order to be authorised to enter the country, anyone whose vaccination date is more than nine months old must acquire a booster dosage before entering.
Similarly, tourists who have been sick with COVID-19 in the past 180 days and have recovered from their illness should be permitted to enter the EU, even if their visit is for a non-essential purpose such as touristic activities.
As the Council points out, “a negative PCR test before departure might also be necessary for those who have recovered from COVID-19, as well as for persons who have been vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine but do not have an EU or comparable certificate.”
It also reminds Member States to allow admission for youngsters between the ages of six and eighteen who are travelling with a negative PCR test that was completed at the earliest possible time (72 hours before departure) on their passports. Every limitation on access must be waived in the case of children under the age of six.
Due to the new suggestion, travellers from countries with which the EU has signed an agreement on the recognition of their COVID-19 certificates will reap the greatest benefits, according to the EU. The following are the nations that have signed such an agreement with the EU thus far:
- Cabo Verde
- El Salvador
- The Faroe Islands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- San Marino
- United Arab Emirates
- The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- The Vatican