The European Union members look to reach an agreement that allows them further ease travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers within and beyond the bloc, according to an EU Commission informal proposal seen by Bloomberg.
“Given the very sizable impact on the exercise of free movement, persons traveling within the EU should in principle no longer be required to quarantine save for very exceptional situations (e.g. new variants of concern),” the proposal reads.
As far as the outlet was allowed to see, the economic bloc works on a number of initiatives to standardize processes and use data in a more effective manner.
The first option would completely scrap the EU’s traffic-light system, which has been used to establish travel requirements for each destination.
Instead, EU countries would allow those who have been double-vaccinated and can produce an EU digital COVID passport to freely travel across countries.
Take as an example the United Kingdom, which reduced its amber, amber plus, green, and red traffic-light system to a green and red list.
Only seven countries have been red-listed as a result of the new strategy during the last 7 days.
A second approach would simplify the data used to create traffic light systems, allowing for more consistent policies for dealing with visitors in each area.
This proposal would also include an “emergency brake” in the case of new health emergencies.
This “sudden” desire to make travel easier appears to be linked to the United States’ reopening to EU visitors on November 8.
While European travelers will simply need to show a negative antigen (rapid) or PCR test and a vaccine certificate to enter the U.S., American visitors have to navigate a maze of ever-changing regulations that may be preventing them from flocking to the European Union as the tourism industry predicted.
Despite the good intentions, several obstacles may impede the deployment of a streamlined system in the EU, being the most pressing one, COVID-19. Yes, once again.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologists, Europe is the only region among the WHO’s six regions of member states where incidences are increasing.
Over 1.3 million people were infected with Covid-19 in the last seven days, up 7% from the previous seven days. The same has happened during the last 3 weeks.
EU countries fear that these COVID trends will stifle the effort to loosen travel rules.