Reopening Europe to foreign travellers recommended

An EU executive has suggested that European nations reopen their borders to select foreign travellers.


Federal police officers check air passengers arriving from Britain at Frankfurt Airport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Frankfurt, Germany, January 30, 2021. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
Federal police officers check air passengers arriving from Britain at Frankfurt Airport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Frankfurt, Germany, January 30, 2021. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

BRUSSELS (Bywire News) - On Monday, the European Union's executive proposed that EU countries should allow some travellers, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or arriving from countries with a low risk of infections, to enter the borders of the bloc, without any further restrictions.

The bloc, which is made up of 27 countries, currently permits travellers from seven different countries to travel for holiday or other non-essntial reasons. The proposal by the European Commission would expand this list.

In a statement, the executive arm said, "The (European) Commission proposes to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine,"

"This could be extended to vaccines having completed the WHO emergency use listing process. In addition, the Commission proposes to raise... the threshold related to the number of new COVID-19 cases used to determine a list of countries from which all travel should be permitted," it added, saying that should cause the list to grow.

In order to decrease the chances of importing new variations of  COVID-19, the Commission suggested a new "emergency break", which would enable the prompt introduction of travel restictions in countries where matters deteriorate suddenly and quickly.

The EU member states are set to start a discussion on the matter on Tuesday, an agreement from them is necessary before plans can be actioned.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Klaudia Fior, Editing by John Chalmers)

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