(CNN) – After nearly a year of closed borders, the European Union could open fully vaccinated tourists from low-infection countries in Kovid in June in time for the summer, according to a plan unveiled on Monday.
Easing the restrictions on non-essential travel, which would be welcomed by countries desperate to revive troubled tourism industries, would also allow for an “emergency brake” if the infection rate rises again.
Reflecting the success of vaccination programs, the EU also wants to ease the qualification rules for adding to its safe travel list countries whose passengers should not be vaccinated or quarantined.
Officials hope the plan will be implemented by the end of June, a year since the EU closed its external borders to most passengers, but the borders could open earlier depending on how quickly European countries sign the proposal.
The move comes as some members of the 27-nation bloc already plan to move forward with its opening. Greece, starving tourists last month, said almost all international tourists fully vaccinated or tested by Covid could come from mid-May.
The proposals published by the European Commission recommend that arrivals should be inoculated 1
“Member States may also extend the scope of vaccinees who have completed the WHO emergency list process,” the EC statement added.
At the heart of the EU’s plan is a “Digital Green Certificate”, which will be evidence of vaccination or immunity and will allow travel across the European Union’s internal and external borders.
International travelers will be able to obtain one by providing evidence in their original country of destination that they have been vaccinated.
Before being introduced, Member States are advised that they will need to take steps to verify the authenticity of any evidence of vaccination provided by visitors.
Monday’s proposals also recommend changing the way the European Union decides which countries are on its safe travel list. Currently, only passengers from seven countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Rwanda, are allowed to enter some EU countries on holiday without proof of vaccination or quarantine.
“The proposal is to increase the threshold of the 14-day cumulative notification rate for Covid-19 cases from 25 to 100 [per 100,000 inhabitants]”the EU statement said.” This remains well below the current EU average of over 420 “.
According to the latest data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the United States has a notification rate of 258, so it will not be added to the safe travel list, but the UK, which has a rate of 47, will be considered under the new rules.
However, the Commission’s proposal includes the so-called “emergency brake” that “When the epidemiological situation of a non-EU country deteriorates rapidly, and in particular if a concern or interest is identified, a Member State may urgently and temporarily suspend all incoming travel. to non-EU citizens residing in such a country. “
The plans will be discussed by European ambassadors on May 5th, and once the list of safe countries is signed, it will be reviewed every two weeks. Border decisions can only be taken by individual countries, so each Member State will decide whether to implement these proposals or not.