EU executive urges reopening in summer to vaccinated tourists

EU executive urges reopening in summer to vaccinated tourists

The European Commission proposed on Monday that fully vaccinated people should be exempt from testing or quarantines when traveling from one EU country to another, and urged a gradual easing of travel measures as Covid-19 vaccinations accelerate.

The bloc reached a deal earlier this month on Covid-19 certificates that will show, via a QR code, whether a person has received a vaccine, had a recent negative test or has immunity based on recovery from an infection. The scheme should be ready by July 1.

The European Union executive, which is seeking to harmonize a current patchwork of travel measures across the bloc, said on Monday that – according to its recommendation – testing or quarantines should not apply to people who have been fully vaccinated 14 days prior to travel.

About half of EU adults have received a first vaccine dose.

People who have recovered from a Covid-19 infection should be exempt from restrictions for 180 days. The Commission also proposed that more reliable, but more expensive PCR tests should be valid for 72 hours and rapid antigen tests for 48 hours.

Children, who are not yet in line for vaccinations, should not have to undergo a quarantine if travelling with parents who are exempt. Those aged six and older can be subject to tests.

The proposals, which are being put to EU member states, mirror those already agreed for travel to the European Union from outside the bloc. [Reuters]

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