| 17 June 2021, Thursday | النسخة العربية

EU executive urges reopening in summer to inoculated tourists

The European Commission on Monday proposed that inoculated people should be exempt from testing or quarantines when travelling from one EU country to another, and called for a gradual easing of travel measures as COVID-19 vaccinations accelerate.

Earlier this month, the EU reached a deal on coronavirus certificates that will show, via a QR code, whether a person is inoculated, immune based on recovery from infection or has had a recent negative test. The scheme should be ready by July 1.

Testing or quarantines should not apply to people who have been fully inoculated 14 days prior to travel, said the European Union executive, which is seeking to end a current patchwork of travel measures across the bloc.

Nearly 50% of EU adults have received a first vaccine jab.

People who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection should be exempt from restrictions for 180 days. The Commission also proposed that more reliable, but more expensive PCR tests should be valid for 72 hours and swift antigen tests for 48 hours.

Children, who are not yet in line for inoculations, should not have to undergo a quarantine if travelling with parents who are exempt. Those aged 6 and older can be subject to tests.

The Commission has also included an “emergency brake” to re-impose measures for travelers from areas where there is a spike of cases or several cases of a particular virus variant.

The Commission proposal said travel from “dark red” areas, with over 150 COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people over 14 days, would be “strongly discouraged”, while for green areas, with fewer than 25 cases, no restrictions would apply.

Only Malta is currently green.