European Commission recommends easing restrictions on travel to EU

The European Commission on Monday called on the member states of the European Union (EU) to grant entry to travellers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation.

“The Commission proposes to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation, but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine,” the EU’s executive arm said in a press release, adding that a vaccine approved by the World Health Organisation should also be accepted.

Non-essential travel regardless of individual vaccination status is currently permitted from seven countries with a good epidemiological situation.

The Commission called for “continued vigilance” in view of the emergence of coronavirus variants of concern and proposed the use of a new “emergency brake mechanism,” which would limit the risk of such variants entering the EU.

The proposal is to be discussed this week at the Council of the EU.

In March, the Commission proposed the adoption of a digital certificate that can prove that the holders are either COVID-19 negative, vaccinated or recovered from the disease. The certificate system is being negotiated among EU institutions, and could be finalized by summer to salvage the bloc’s tourism industry.