The EU wants to open borders for all vaccinated people
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European Union countries agreed on Wednesday to reduce travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on visitors from outside the EU. This decision came before the start of the summer tourist season, a move that could reopen the European Union's borders for vaccinated Britons and Americans.
Ambassadors from the 27 EU countries have approved a European Commission proposal to ease restrictions from May 3 to allow fully vaccinated tourists from elsewhere to travel this summer, EU sources said. A list of safe destinations will also be established this week. Based on data from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the UK and a number of other countries would meet the new criteria, while the United States would still be on the list of destinations considered unsafe, although vaccinated Americans can travel.
An EU diplomat said the growing number of cases in the UK of Indian strain should be taken into account, although individual EU countries are already setting their own policies. Portugal lifted the travel ban for British tourists, for a period of four months.
The EU wants to open borders for all vaccinated people.
Under current restrictions, only people from seven countries can enter the EU on holiday, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. These countries include Australia, Israel and Singapore. However, countries may decide - individually - to request a negative PCR test or set a quarantine period for those who choose to travel.
The main current criterion is that there should be no more than 25 new cases of COVID-19 per 100.000 people in the last 14 days. The trend should be stable or declining and there should be a sufficient number of tests, which should show a percentage of negative tests out of the total number of tests performed.
The European Commission has proposed increasing the incidence rate of cases to 100.
The European Commission has proposed raising the incidence rate to 100. EU ambassadors have opted for 75 instead. In order for inoculated people to have access, they should have received an EU-approved vaccine, taking into account those on the World Health Organization emergency list.
These people should have received the second dose at least 14 days before the trip. According to the plan, EU countries that waive testing or quarantine requirements for vaccinated tourists in the EU are encouraged to do the same for tourists who want to travel outside the EU. Children should also be able to travel with vaccinated parents.
The EU plan covers Schengen countries, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which are not EU members, but not Northern Ireland, which is not an EU member and is not part of the Schengen area.