E.U. executive urges easing travel restrictions for vaccinated tourists this summer

BRUSSELS – The European Commission on Monday proposed exempting vaccinated people from travel or quarantine when traveling from an EU. Country to another, urging gradual easing of travel policies as Covid-19 vaccinations accelerate.

The EU. reached an agreement earlier this month on Covid-19 certificates that use a QR code to show whether a person has been vaccinated, is immune from recovering from infection, or recently had a negative test. The program should be ready by July 1st.

The European Union executive, which is trying to end a current patchwork of travel policies across the bloc, said Monday that testing or quarantines should not apply to people who have been fully vaccinated 14 days prior to travel.

About half of E.U. Adults have received their first dose of vaccine.

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

Children who have not yet been vaccinated should not have to quarantine when traveling with liberated parents. People six years and older can be tested.

The Commission has also put in place an “emergency brake” to reintroduce measures for travelers from areas with an increase in infections or many cases of a particular virus variant.

Travel from “dark red” areas with more than 150 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days would be “severely discouraged”, while no restrictions would apply to green spaces with fewer than 25 cases, according to the Commission’s proposal.

Currently only Malta is green.

The proposal made to E.U. Member States are similar to those already agreed for off-bloc travel for vaccinated travelers and travelers from “safe” countries, although tests may still apply.

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