Unvaccinated EU citizens will face stricter travel restrictions

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The EU Commission has proposed changing the way countries are classified on the traffic light map, a measure that could take effect from 10 January 2022. Currently, the map published weekly by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) only takes into account the number of cases of COVID-19, tests and death rates. The Commission now wants the ECDC to update the maps, taking into account vaccination rates.

"Taking into account the progress made in absorbing the vaccine, the Commission proposes to adopt the criteria and thresholds used for the traffic light map. The criterion for new cases should be weighted by the use of the vaccine in the same region, in order to take into account that vaccination reduces the risk of transmitting COVID-19. ", notes the European Commission in its proposal, adding that the test rate should be the third criterion.

If the European Commission's proposal is implemented, then some countries, such as Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia, will remain in the dark red category for a very long time, regardless of the number of new cases of COVID-19, and this is because they have the lower vaccination rates:

  • Bulgaria 24,8%
  • Romania 37,3%
  • Slovakia 45,8%
  • Croatia 46,8%
  • Poland 53,7%
  • Slovenia 54,3%
  • Hungary 59,1%

This means that citizens who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be subject to more travel restrictions from January 2022. The Commission recommends maintaining the current colors: "green", "orange", "red" and "dark red". Thus, travel to countries with lower vaccination rates will also be discouraged for EU citizens.

The EU Commission has proposed that COVID-19 vaccination certificates be valid for only nine months

By the same recommendation, the EU Commission proposed that COVID-19 vaccination certificates be valid for only nine months instead of 12 months. He also proposed including a third dose in COVID-19 digital vaccine certificates, adding that a Green Pass should be issued after each dose.

"On November 17, 2021, the Commission adopted standard rules on how to encode a booster dose in the COVID digital certificate UE: the booster dose after a two-dose vaccine will be reflected as 3/3 in the certificate, and the booster dose after a single-dose vaccine will be reflected as 2/2 ”.

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