The European Union is recommending that travel restrictions for fully vaccinated visitors be lifted for all 27 member nations.
In late February, the European Council voted to recommend that EU nations lift all testing and quarantine requirements for tourists who have proof of being vaccinated with shots authorized in the EU or approved by the World Health Organization. The recommendation went into effect March 1.
The list of authorized vaccines includes the three vaccines approved in the United States: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. It also includes AstraZeneca and Novavax.
“The amendments introduced respond to the evolution of the pandemic, the increasing vaccination uptake and administration of booster doses, and the recognition of a growing number of certificates issued by third countries as equivalent to the EU digital COVID certificate,” the council said in a press release following the vote.
Member nations are not obligated to follow the recommendation, although most have followed the council’s plans throughout the 2 years of the pandemic.
“Under this recommendation, COVID-19 restrictions should be applied taking into account both the situation in the third country and the individual status of the person,” the EU said of its new rules.
The recommendations include:
- Travelers should have received the last dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before entry and no more than 270 days before entry.
- A negative PCR test before departure could be required for people who have recovered from COVID-19.
- The same rules apply for children 6 and older.
- No requirements for children 5 and younger.
The EU also issued recommendations about which countries the rules should apply to, based on that country’s rate of infection, whether the number is increasing or decreasing, and current positivity rate.
But that could change soon.
“The updated recommendation also indicates that it is appropriate to start to consider moving to a purely person-based approach,” the release said.
It calls for a review of the new policies at the end of April.
The recommendation comes as a majority of nations are experiencing a large drop in cases. It is good news for the travel industry as people around the world begin planning for spring and summer travel.
For more updates on COVID-19 around the world, check out our recent coverage: