The European Travel Commission (ETC) has called on the European Union to end the color-coding system for fully vaccinated travelers and instead urged the introduction of a new classification system based not only on infection rates but also on vaccination and hospitalization.
According to an ETC press release, governments should direct their travel restrictions in a more individualized approach, thus urging all EU COVID-19 Digital Certificate (EUDCC) holders to be exempt from travel restrictions, TheSchengen.com reports.
The ETC also noted that with such a system in place, international travel would resemble travel within the European Union, which has been so acclaimed and widely recognized amid the pandemic.
“International travel should be possible under the same conditions as travel within the European Union: based on vaccination, recovery or negative COVID-19 test; with quarantine requirements and recommendations against non-essential travel strictly limited to very high cases or different areas of concern. Basically, we are also calling on member states to abandon the use of the EU whitelist.”
Moreover, ETC believes that the EU should focus on restoring international air travel. The body has called for the EU’s global adoption of the DCC, which since its release date earlier this year has been downloaded by nearly 60 million users.
The Travel Commission calls on the European Union to put at its disposal the impact and success of the DCC and implement interoperability and mutual recognition of digital certificates, which they pledged to complete at the most recent G7 summit.
ETC has received support on this issue from several other cases, including Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airport Council International (ACI), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), and European Travel Retail Consortium (ETRC).
This statement followed a recommendation by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to update the common mapping system, simplifying the rules established for travelers from high-risk countries by including vaccination rates and travelers’ vaccination status. In other words, creating such a system would benefit fully vaccinated travelers as they could travel everywhere, including high-risk areas.
TheSchengen.com previously reported that Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were on the list of EU high-risk countries (dark red category) as revealed by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Moreover, Germany, Finland and Ireland have also been placed on the unsafe travel list, which means that member states are advised to impose stricter restrictions on unvaccinated and non-exempt arrivals from these nine countries, which could include testing and quarantine.
Data from (ECDC) also shows that about 74.1 percent of the adult population in EU/EEA countries has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, accounting for 27,463,063 vaccines.