European Union recommendations to remove non-essential foreign travel bans for visitors who have received a full coronavirus vaccination are now in effect.
According to the official EU website, the combination of rising vaccination rates and falling numbers of infections has given health officials the confidence to lift travel restrictions for tourists who have received a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).
For travelers inoculated with vaccines approved by the WHO, but not the EMA, they will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result prior to departure. International visitors must be vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival or less than 270 days otherwise they will need proof of booster.
“A negative PCR test before departure might also be required for people who have recovered from COVID-19, as well as for people who have been vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine but do not hold a certificate from the EU. ‘EU or equivalent,’ EU officials said. .
As for children, EU member states will allow children under the age of six to be exempt from all entry restrictions, while those between the ages of six and 18 will be able to present a negative test taken 72 hours before departure.
“The changes introduced to respond to the evolution of the pandemic, the increase in vaccination and the administration of booster doses and the recognition of an increasing number of certificates issued by third countries as equivalent to the certificate EU Digital COVID,” the EU statement continued.
When it was announced last month, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) welcomed the non-binding guidelines.
“WTTC welcomes the EU’s sensible decision to remove travel restrictions ahead of Easter,” said WTTC CEO Julia Simpson. “The patchwork of rules and regulations has done nothing to prevent the spread of COVID but has caused immense damage to Europe’s economy, resulting in the loss of jobs and businesses.”
“Now is the time to rebuild travel and tourism and connect Europe to the world,” Simpson continued.