EU eases travel policy despite high infections rates in several countries

Brussels, Jan 25 (EFE).- The European Union on Tuesday eased travel recommendations despite high infection rates in a number of countries.

The EU recommended that European travelers should no longer face screening tests or quarantines but instead depend on the Covid-19 certificate.

The European Council decided to change its policy in the wake of the “significant increase in vaccine uptake and the rapid roll-out of the EU digital COVID certificate.”

This certificate is a document that proves the holder is fully vaccinated, has recently recovered from the disease or tested negative for the virus.

The recommendation, which will come into force on February 1, would exempt certificate holders from additional restrictions such as tests or quarantine on arrival, although national governments will decide on whether to adopt the policy.

The decision to adjust recommendations came as several countries witnessed a spike in coronavirus infections, driven by the contagious Omicron variant.

Belgium has reported a daily average of 47,606 cases over the last seven days with the Omicron variant accounting for nearly 93% of infections, the country’s public health institute Sciensano said.

So far, 77% of Belgium’s 11.5 million inhabitants have been administered the full course of a Covid-19 vaccine and 55% have received a booster.

France, meanwhile, is bracing for a peak in Omicron cases in the coming days, health minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday.

The government is monitoring “two curves”, especially that of the Delta variant, “which is the one that sends people to the ICUs” and that justifies the restrictions imposed in recent weeks, including working from home, he added.

“We are about to crush it, which is good news,” the minister told the LCI TV.EFE


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