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EU Plans To Have No Additional Entry Requirements For Vaccinated Travelers

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A new plan is in the works for all potential travelers to the European Union, and it could mean that fully vaccinated travelers won’t be subject to any additional entry requirements to travel through certain EU countries.

The updated guidance would measure a traveler’s individual health risk, as opposed to what country they are traveling from, in order to be approved for entry to an EU member state.

This means that travelers holding their official Covid certificates could bypass testing and quarantine restrictions when entering an EU country that has adopted the new plan. 

couple holding wheelie suitcases hand in hand walking streets of Europe

Exceptions Include Travelers Coming From Nations Deemed ‘High-Risk’

The exception for additional entry requirements would be for travelers coming from any countries still labeled “dark red” (high-risk) by the color-coded map that’s been in place to measure the rates of infection throughout the Union. In those cases, some testing and/or quarantine measures may be required by any of the individual EU nations. 

You can see the updated European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s Covid map here on Twitter (color blind-friendly version also available). At this time, most member states are still labeled as dark red.

solo traveler with umbrella and suitcase in old town Krakow, Poland

Under Update, Color-Coded EU Map Could Include Vaccination Rates

While the EU’s Covid map currently only indicates a nation’s positivity rate, testing rate as well as new cases, the latest reports state that officials are debating adding a country’s Covid vaccination rate to the calculation model. 

In that case, a person traveling from a country with a higher vaccination rate would be more likely to face less travel restrictions when crossing borders throughout the EU. 

hiker at sunset resting on the cliffside overlooking a lake and church in the Tatras mountains in Slovenia

Shifting To A ‘Person-Based’ Model – Information For Travelers

This travel update stems from plans initially laid out by the European Commission (the EU’s politically independent executive branch). Last November, the Commission proposed a few updated measures to lead the EU into 2022 with the ongoing pandemic.

One of the propositions was for travel vaccine certificates to expire after nine months. This could potentially mean that individuals will have to get a booster or show an official Covid positive test result to prove recovery in order for the certificate to remain valid. 

EU Digital COVID Certificate with the QR code on the screen of a mobile phone over a surgical mask and a passport

The second proposition was that travel rules within the EU bloc be connected to travelers’ individual health risk instead of their departure country. 

To clarify, EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, stated that, “This means that holders of an EU certificate should in principle not be subject to additional travel restrictions.”

New Plan May Be Approved By Some EU Countries On Tuesday

EU officials announced on Thursday that plans to implement this new travel guidance are set to unfold later this month. The hope is that EU members countries will approve these new travel recommendations at the next General Affairs Council meeting on Tuesday, January 25.

Many EU Countries Already Have Plans To Update Travel Guidance

The circulating Omicron variant in Europe and across the globe is still a cause for concern for governments and individuals alike. In Europe specifically, the highest number of daily reported cases in a single week happened over the first week of January.  

However, some nations have already loosened or are planning to loosen restrictions for vaccinated travelers over the next few weeks that were enforced during the December holiday season. 

Most recently, officials in Cyprus announced that the country will scrap testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers beginning March 1st. And on Friday, the Prime Minister of Ireland announced that all local restrictions will be waived starting this weekend.

Certain European countries are now requiring vaccine booster for entry, so that is something else to look out for as well if you have plans to travel to Europe in the near future.

Stock photograph of sheep with the ruins of the Cathedral at the Rock of Cashel in the background, in Ireland, on a cloudy day.

Read More:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2022

U.S. Now Requires Travelers Crossing Land Border To Be Fully Vaccinated

UK Removing Almost All Covid Restrictions, Including Masks And Vaccine Passports

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