The European Commission Monday set out a plan to streamline travel policies across the EU ahead of the summer season.
Under an agreement struck earlier this month, EU-wide COVID certificates — proving whether travelers got a test, vaccine or are immune following an infection — are set to be rolled out in July. But the deal leaves it up to individual governments whether to impose additional measures, such as quarantines or tests, and the Commission wants to avoid chaos caused by diverging policies.
The proposal — an update to a non-binding recommendation EU countries agreed last year — says travelers with a COVID certificate proving they’re fully vaccinated or recovered from a coronavirus infection shouldn’t be required to get a test or to quarantine, Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders said.
For other travelers, the Commission calls on countries to base travel restrictions on a color-coded map that ranks areas in the bloc from safe (green) to very high-risk (dark red) based on the health risk.
Travelers from green areas shouldn’t face any restrictions; travelers from orange areas could be required to get tested before travel; and travelers from red areas could be required to quarantine unless they have proof of a negative test result. Travel from very high-risk areas, meanwhile, should be “strongly discouraged.”
The Commission also wants EU countries to agree on how long coronavirus tests are valid, suggesting 72 hours for a PCR test and 48 hours for a rapid antigen test.
A so-called “emergency break” would allow countries “to reintroduce measures, also for people who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered, if the epidemiological situation in a country deteriorates rapidly,” Reynders said.
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