EU to Consider Booster Shot, Extending Covid Pass Use
EU authorities are examining the possibility of extending the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which grants fully vaccinated travelers access to member states.
According to reports, the European Commission may be deciding to extend the Covid pass earlier than planned as a fourth wave of Covid-19 hits EU countries.
More specifically, newly appointed Ana Gallego Torres, director-general of the Commission’s DG Justice and Consumers told a European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee that Brussels would be putting forward a proposal to revise the recommendation on free and safe travel at the beginning of next week.
The Commission is also expected to regulate movement from regions and territories where Covid spread is high and address the possible spread of Covid variants.
Initial plans foresaw the EU Digital COVID Certificate to last for a year (to June 2022). According to Torres, the Commission should review its Covid pass report before the June 2022 expiration period.
She went on to add that the national reach of vaccination rollouts would be taken into account.
Torres reiterated the Commission’s stance that that those with valid documentation should not be subject to further restrictions, adding however that the EU must remain vigilant in view of the deteriorating epidemiological situation in an increasing number of EU countries.
“The pandemic is evidently not over,” Torres said, adding that the color-coded Covid tracking map released by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control every week should remain.
European lawmakers and the Commission were expected later today. (Monday) to discuss recent pandemic developments and ways to coordinate member states’ measures more effectively in view of increasing coronavirus cases across the EU.
In the meantime, the Commission is expected to decide on updating Covid-19 regulation making a third dose of the vaccine mandatory for travel within the EU and for the issue of the EU Digital Covid Certificate. The ‘Covid passports’ would be valid for a period of only 12 months after the final dose.
Should this be passed into law, fully vaccinated travelers will be required to get a booster shot (third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine) 12 months after the second dose in order to travel restriction-free.
Greece, meanwhile, is pushing for a third dose of the vaccine six months after the second in view of a spike in Covid cases.