Following several suggestions, EU countries are trying to reach a deal, which would allow travelers to move freely within the bloc without being subject to strict COVID-19 restrictions, such as testing and quarantine.
One of the options presented by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which has been brought up for discussion by member states, is to end the traffic light system currently used by the European Union. Instead of the system still in use, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has proposed amending the coronavirus rules in a way that does not limit freedom of movement.
Therefore, in support of freedom of movement, it has been suggested that member states base their system on the state of vaccination.
If such a system is adopted, travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to move freely, regardless of the epidemiological situation of the country they are traveling from, TheSchengen.com reports.
In support of this approach, the European Travel Commission has called on governments to direct their restrictions in a more individualized way, and urged all those who hold a valid EU COVID-19 digital certificate to be exempt from testing and quarantine rules on arrival in another country.
“We are hereby calling for the complete abolition of this color-coded system and the cessation of travel restrictions for all COVID Digital Certificate (DCC) holders, regardless of their country/region of origin. Thus, EU countries should move towards a traveler risk-based approach, rather than one country to the country of the current user,” the ETC statement said.
The center previously claimed that the traffic light system comes with downsides because every state has a different testing system, and vaccination rates vary from state to state.
In addition, the same order emphasized that given the current situation of the Coronavirus in the European Union countries, maintaining strict travel restrictions had not had a noticeable effect in reducing the number of deaths or hospitalizations. For this reason, it was reasonable to allow travelers who meet the specified conditions to travel freely.
However, even if the current system is toppled, it has been suggested that member states maintain a special mechanism that can be used in the event of a future outbreak.
Earlier today, TheSchengen.com reported that ETC has called on member states to end testing requirements. In addition, the same has asked the European Union Commission and member states to recognize all vaccines approved for use by the World Health Organization (WHO) and accept antigen tests because they are more cost-effective and faster than PCR tests.