EU will reopen borders for travelers who have been fully vaccinated

EU member states agreed on Wednesday to reopen the bloc’s borders to travelers fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, European sources said.

At a meeting in Brussels, diplomats also agreed to increase the number of new cases that can affect a country before it is declared unsafe – a measure that would make it possible to travel to the EU from more places.

The recommendations will be adopted by EU ministers on Friday, they said. A spokesperson for the European Commission confirmed that the envoys had approved the update to the travel rules.

As of March 2020, non-essential travel to the 27 member states of the European Union has been banned, with the exception of a small number of countries that are considered safe due to their low Covid cases.

But businesses across the continent are reopening as virus restrictions are phased out and bars, hotels and restaurants are worried about the summer tourist trade.

Diplomats said travelers who could prove they had received the required number of doses of an EU-approved vaccine could enter the block under the new rules.

In addition, the number of cases per 100,000 people that a country could register for two weeks and still qualify for the green list will increase from 25 to 75.

This would still exclude unvaccinated travelers from much of the world, but could allow travel from, say, Great Britain, which is well advanced in its vaccination campaign.

The current green list has only seven countries: Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China if Beijing agrees to reciprocity.

Member States also agreed to establish a coordinated emergency mechanism to quickly suspend arrivals from a non-EU country affected by the sudden emergence of a new variant.

(AFP)

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