The proposal would allow travelers from countries with a ‘good epidemiological situation’ to enter the bloc.
The European Commission Monday said it wants to ease restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU — with the caveat of an emergency brake system to quickly counter the spread of any new coronavirus variants.
The proposal would allow travelers from countries with a “good epidemiological situation” to enter but also those who can prove they have had the “last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine” at least 14 days prior to arrival, the Commission said.
In future, the list could also be expanded to include vaccines approved by the World Health Organization.
The proposal still needs to be agreed by EU countries, but it offers a reprieve for Europe’s struggling tourism industry and the prospect of a return for tourists from the U.S. and other countries ahead on vaccination programs.
Until now, the Commission had only proposed lifting restrictions on arrivals from a limited number of countries including Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand with a similar plan for Chinese travellers pending a deal on reciprocity.
The new plan would also see the EU’s methodology for calculating which countries are safe rise from a 14-day cumulative notification caseload of 25 per 100,000 people to 100 per 100,000; the bloc’s own average is 420.
The plan is to discuss the proposal in a Council technical meeting on Tuesday before taking it to EU ambassadors on Wednesday.
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