EU states approve proposal to ease inbound travel restrictions for summer

By Andrew Pentol |

The European Commission recommended that member states ease restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU earlier this month.

European Union member states agreed today (19 May) on a European Commission proposal to ease travel restrictions from outside the European Union.

Earlier this month, the European Commission recommended that member States ease restrictions on non-essential travel into the European Union to take into account the progress of vaccination campaigns and developments in the ‘epidemiological situation’ worldwide.

The European Commission proposed to allow non-essential travel into the European Union for anyone who has received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine at least 14 days before arrival.

Proposals also included an ‘emergency brake’ mechanism amid the emergence of coronavirus (Covid-19) variants.

This would limit the risk of such variants entering the European Union and allow member states to act quickly and temporarily limit all travel from affected countries for the time needed to implement appropriate sanitary measures.

UPDATED INBOUND TRAVEL APPROACH

EU Commission Spokesperson for Rule of Law, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Employment and Social Affairs Christian Wigand said: “Today, EU ambassadors agreed to update the approach to travel from outside the European Union.

European Commission proposals included an ’emergency brake’ mechanism to limit the risk of coronavirus variants entering the European Union.

“The Council now recommends that member states ease some of the current restrictions, in particular for those vaccinated with any authorised vaccine.”

He added: “The Council should also expand the list of non-EU countries with a good ‘epidemiological situation’ from where travel is permitted, based on new criteria agreed today.

“At the same time, to limit the risk of coronavirus variants entering the EU, the Council agreed on a new emergency brake mechanism allowing member states to act quickly in a coordinated manner.

“We welcome this agreement. As you know, this comes two-and-a-half weeks after the Commission proposed this update.

“This will help progressively resume international inbound travel where it is possible to do so safely, while ensuring quick action to counter the spread.

“The advised recommendation now needs to be formerly adopted by the Council.”

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