The European Union approved a change of approach on restrictions on travelers in the EU to curb the coronavirus, such as detection tests or quarantines, which will no longer be required taking into account the country of origin, but rather the digital covid certificate of each person.
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The objective of the approved changes that will come into force on February 1 is to simplify the applicable rules and provide more clarity and predictability to travelers.
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The EC pointed out that more than 1,200 million certificates since it was launched, demonstrating “the success of this tool, which has been deployed across the EU and globally”.
The new recommendation, however, maintains the possibility for countries to impose additional measures on travelers from “dark red” areas, considered high risk on the color map of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
We now call on Member States to swiftly implement the common rules to ensure coordination and clarity for our citizens and travellers.
That center will continue to publish the map of the regions of the member states to indicate the potential risk of infection, according to a traffic light system (green, orange, red, dark red).
After countries approved this change, the European Commission asked member states to lift “additional restrictions” imposed on travelers in recent weeks to prevent the spread of the omicron variant, which is already circulating throughout the Union.
“We now ask the Member States to quickly apply the common rules to ensure coordination and clarity for our citizens and travellers,” said the European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, and the head of Justice of the EC, Didier Reynders, in a joint declaration.
“The Member States have reconfirmed that the possession of a valid digital covid certificate should, in principle, be sufficient to travel during the pandemic,” said the commissioners, who stressed the importance of coordination.
Although each country “decides based on the circumstances it faces”, omicron “has already spread throughout Europe and it is time to analyze the interruption of the additional travel measures that several Member States have introduced in recent weeks, that make travel more cumbersome and less predictable,” they said.
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