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EU Proposes Restriction-free Travel for Digital Covid Certificate Holders

Photo source: European Commission / Photographer: Denis Lovrovic

The European Council took one more step toward simplifying travel procedures during the Covid-19 pandemic, proposing that member states implement a “person-based approach” which allows holders of valid EU digital Covid certificates to travel restriction-free.

The recommendation is set to take effect on February 1.

More specifically, under the Council’s revised recommendation, Covid-19 measures should be applied taking into account the status of the person instead of the conditions at regional level, with the exception of areas where the virus is circulating at very high levels. 

In short, this means that travelers can, using their EU digital certificate – which includes test or recovery status – travel across the EU without restrictions.

“Member states have reconfirmed that the possession of a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate should in principle be sufficient when traveling during the pandemic,” said respective commissioners for health and justice, Stella Kyriakides and Didier Reynders in a joint statement.

The commissioners urged EU governments to follow up on the agreement and implement the common rules without delay “to ensure coordination and clarity for citizens and travelers”.

“Each member state decides based on the circumstances it is facing. But Omicron has by now spread across Europe, and it is time to look at the discontinuation of the additional travel measures that a number of member states have introduced in the past weeks, making travel more cumbersome and less predictable across the EU,” they added.  

Photo source: @Council of European Union

The revised recommendation is intended to ensure a coordinated approach that will facilitate safe free movement during the coronavirus pandemic. 

In its statement, the Council cites the significant increase in vaccination and the rapid roll-out of the digital certificate as the reasoning behind its decision.

In its recommendation, it also said the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) should continue to publish its EU Covid risk factor map based on the 14-day case notification rate, vaccine uptake and testing rate.

Additionally, when an EU state imposes restrictions in response to the emergence of a new Covid variant, the Council and Commission will be required supported by the ECDC to review and decide on the situation.

It should be reminded that the Council recommendation is not legally binding and national authorities remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation.

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  1. Mark+Brealey Reply

    Marlo. So banning people from countries with maleria etc because they cannot prove vacination is a violation of rights? Stop posting b******t. Period

  2. Mark+Brealey Reply

    R Ferguson. Vaccinated people are much less likely to fill ICUs and corvid wards. And just because someone has a long term health condition other than Covid it is often Covid that is the primary cause of death. Stop spreading this anti Vax b******t

  3. Ewa Duzinkiewicz Reply

    Czy długo jeszcze będziecie kłamać i tresowac ludzi. To jest zwykły totalitaryzm. Durne pomysły, które nie ograniczają niczego poza wolnością ludzi.

  4. Joe Blonby Reply

    Good news. Extreme circumstances require extreme methods.

  5. Clément Reply

    This is clearly an appeal to Greek authorities to lift the mandatory useless testing before entering the country even to vaccinated travelers…

  6. R Ferguson Reply

    So vaccinated people can still catch the virus, spread the virus and end up in Hospital. Were is the logic in it all, i had the virus data now shows natural immunity lasts a lot longer than six months. It cost me £600 in tests in the last two years to holiday in Crete, if same rules are applied this year i will cancel my holiday, we have been going to Greece for many years but this discrimination is the last straw, there is no pandemic now the USA & UK have admitted 75% of covid deaths were false people died with four or more co morbidities in the USA in Uk from 150,000 deaths to 17000. Stop scaremongering and get back to normal.

  7. MarLo Reply

    Access based on medical status is a violation of the rights of mankind to freedom of choice and movement. Period.

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