EU member states have agreed to coordinate their measures to facilitate travel within the Union this summer with the adoption of the covid certificate, but provide for the possibility of reintroducing restrictions in the event of variants.
LThe Twenty-Seven agreed on Friday to coordinate their measures to facilitate travel within the European Union this summer with the adoption of the covid certificate, but provide for the possibility of reintroducing restrictions in the event of the emergence of a variant.
From July 1, a person with a European covid certificate attesting either that they have been vaccinated against covid, or that they have passed a negative test, or that they are immunized following a infection, should be able to travel within Europe without undergoing restrictions such as further testing or quarantine.
The problem of variants
But exceptions have been made, in the face of the threat of highly contagious variants, in a recommendation approved Friday by the ambassadors of member countries.
The text, seen by AFP, provides that “when the epidemiological situation in a region of a Member State or in a Member State deteriorates rapidly, in particular due to a high prevalence of variants (…), the Member States can trigger an emergency brake ”.
In this case, “on an exceptional and temporary basis”, screening tests or quarantines may be imposed by the country of destination, even on holders of covid certificates.
The 27 also agreed to harmonize the validity periods for PCR (no more than 72 hours before arrival at destination) and antigenic (no more than 48 hours) tests.
They agreed that traveling children under 12 should be exempt from testing. And that minors traveling with their parents or an accompanying person should not be subject to quarantine if the accompanying adult is not subject to it.
Countries have relaxed the criteria for classifying risk areas, which are used to produce the map published weekly by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).
The Commission, concerned about the return to free movement within the Schengen area, welcomed the approval of this recommendation – a decision the application of which is not, however, binding – for which it is pending. origin.
“We can be confident that with these updated measures and the EU’s digital covid certificate, Europeans will be able to enjoy a safe summer vacation with restrictions which, where they exist, will be only limited” , said a spokesperson for the EU executive, Christian Wigand.