The Twenty-Seven agreed on Friday to coordinate their measures to facilitate travel this summer in the European Union with the adoption of the Covid certificate, but provide for the possibility of reintroducing restrictions in the event of an emergency. of a variant.
From July 1, a person with a European Covid certificate, attesting either that he has been vaccinated against Covid-19, or that he has passed a negative test, or that he is immunized as a result of infection, should be able to travel within the OR without restrictions such as further testing or quarantine.
An “emergency brake” in the event of variants
But exceptions have been made, in the face of the threat of highly contagious variants, in a recommendation approved Friday by the ambassadors of member countries. The text provides that “when the epidemiological situation in a region of a Member State or in a Member State deteriorates rapidly, in particular due to a high prevalence of variants (…), the Member States can trigger an emergency brake “. In this case, “on an exceptional and temporary basis”, screening tests or quarantines may be imposed by the country of destination, even on holders of Covid certificates.
The countries of the European Union have also agreed to harmonize the validity periods of PCR tests (no more than 72 hours before arrival at destination) and antigenic tests (no more than 48 hours). They agreed that traveling children under 12 should be exempt from testing. And that minors traveling with their parents or an accompanying person should not be subject to quarantine if the accompanying adult is not subject to it.
A desire to return to free movement
The Twenty-Seven have also relaxed the criteria for classifying risk areas, which are used to produce the map published weekly by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC). The Commission, concerned about the return to free movement within the Schengen area, welcomed the approval of this recommendation – a decision the application of which is not, however, binding – for which it is pending. origin.
“We can be confident that with these updated measures and the EU’s Covid digital certificate, Europeans will be able to enjoy a safe summer vacation with restrictions which, where they exist, will only be limited” , said a spokesperson for the EU executive, Christian Wigand.