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The European Commission on Monday presented a plan to streamline travel policies across the EU ahead of the summer season.
As part of an agreement reached at the beginning of this month, EU-wide COVID certificates are to be introduced in July, which will prove whether travelers are receiving a test, a vaccine or are immune after an infection. But the agreement leaves it to the individual governments to impose additional measures such as quarantines or tests, and the Commission wants to avoid chaos through different policies.
The proposal – an update of a non-binding recommendation that EU countries agreed on last year – says there is no obligation on travelers with a COVID certificate showing that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus infection should be to take a test or quarantine, Commissioner for Judge Didier Reynders said.
For other travelers, the Commission is asking countries to impose travel restrictions a color-coded card ranks the areas in the block from safe (green) to very high risk (dark red) based on health risk.
People traveling out of green spaces should not face any restrictions; Travelers from orange areas may be asked to get tested before traveling; and travelers from red areas could be quarantined unless they have evidence of a negative test result. Travel from very risky areas should meanwhile be “strongly advised against”.
The Commission also wants EU countries to agree on the validity period of coronavirus tests, proposing 72 hours for a PCR test and 48 hours for a rapid antigen test.
A so-called “emergency brake” would enable countries to “initiate measures again for vaccinated or recovered people if the epidemiological situation in a country deteriorates rapidly,” said Reynders.
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