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EU to study relaxing travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people

Brussels, May 3 (EFE).- The European Commission on Monday proposed that member states relax Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential travel to allow people from countries with a “good” epidemiological situation and those who are fully vaccinated to enter the bloc.

In its proposal, the Commission added that an emergency brake mechanism would be introduced to help prevent the spread of virulent new variants of the coronavirus.

The proposal would grant access to people who had been administered a full course of an EU-authorized jab at least two weeks before travel, although it added that the vaccines that had completed the World Health Organization’s emergency use listing process could be included in the future.

So far the EU has authorized four vaccines — Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen, a single-dose shot.

“In addition, if Member States decide to waive the requirements to present a negative PCR test and/or to undergo quarantine for vaccinated persons on their territory, they should also waive such requirements for vaccinated travelers from outside the EU,” the Commission said in a statement.

“This should be facilitated once the Digital Green Certificate becomes operational, in line with the rules the Commission proposed on 17 March.”

Until the EU’s digital vaccine certificate is up and running, Member States should accept vaccine proof issued by the country of origin, the proposal said.

“At the same time, the emergence of coronavirus variants of concern calls for continued vigilance.

“Therefore as counter-balance, the Commission proposes a new ‘emergency brake’ mechanism, to be coordinated at EU level and which would limit the risk of such variants entering the EU.

“This will allow Member States to act quickly and temporarily limit to a strict minimum all travel from affected countries for the time needed to put in place appropriate sanitary measures.”

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