Schengen Visa News

New EU Travel Rules: Member States to Focus More on Traveler’s Health Risk Rather Than Country of Departure

Authorities in the European Union are trying to introduce a new plan to facilitate travel amid the ongoing pandemic that would focus more on the individual health risks of the traveler rather than the epidemiological situation in the country of departure.

Such a decision was announced by three EU diplomats on Thursday, Politico reports,

According to the rules update, passengers with a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate will not be subject to additional testing or self-isolation requirements. However, countries can still offer additional measures for travelers from regions included in the dark red category, which consists of countries severely affected by the Coronavirus, based on data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The colors of the ECDC map reveal the health risk status in terms of COVID-19, taking into account infection and testing rates in other countries.

After the proposed changes, the map will also take into account the vaccination rate in other countries.

In this regard, an EU diplomat confirmed that the proposed changes to the map are still under discussion.

The new plan follows the Commission’s proposal made in November last year for a “person-based approach” to travel within EU countries, meaning that people with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate “should in principle not be subject to additional travel restrictions, from anywhere in the European Union”.

Since the beginning of the outbreak of the epidemic, the authorities in European countries have taken preventive measures in order to stop the spread of the Corona virus and its new strains that particularly affect travelers from countries that are considered severely affected by the Corona virus.

In addition, the spread of the Omicron variant that has become the main alternative in many countries has led governments to tighten their entry rules to prevent a further increase in the number of cases.

On January 20, the ECDC’s updated map showed that all countries of the European Union and the Schengen area are strongly affected by the Omicron variant.

The map indicated that the number of coronavirus infections recorded a significant increase in the past seven days. The same showed that all countries of the European Union and the Schengen area belong to the dark red color group, with the exception of some Romanian and Polish regions, which means that the European continent recorded more than 500 cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic have reported the highest rates of COVID-19 infection, based on data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The new changes will make it easier for people from countries affected by the virus to travel.

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