Transport and tourism associations have again urged EU member states to harmonize travel rules imposed due to the coronavirus situation in order to prevent the patchwork system.
The unions backed the European Commission, which stressed that a harmonized validity period of the EU’s Covid digital certificate is essential for safe freedom of movement and coordination at the EU level, reports the EU Reporter, TheSchengen.com.
European countries have been hit hard by the spread of the coronavirus, and more recently the Omicron variant, which has prompted governments to tighten their entry rules in order to stem a further increase in the number of infections.
As a result, on December 21, the European Commission announced that the EUDCC digital COVID certification without a booster dose will be shortened. It was reported that from February 1, member states of the European Union will shorten the validity of vaccination documents to 270 days.
However, some European countries such as Italy, France and Denmark have decided to shorten the validity of these documents for national use to seven or three months.
Besides, the rapid spread of the virus has led many countries to implement additional entry requirements such as testing rules for vaccinated or recovered travelers from the European Union, in contravention of the council’s current recommendations.
In order to facilitate the travel process, the Council of the European Union recently made a new recommendation based on the need to implement coronavirus measures taking into account individual health risks of the individual and to abolish the current rule, which focuses more on the COVID-19 situation in the traveler’s country of origin, with the exception of high-risk areas.
The new changes, which will take effect on February 1, aim to make it easier for non-EU citizens who have completed their COVID-19 immunization to travel.
“This means that a traveler’s COVID-19 vaccination, testing or recovery status, as evidenced by a valid EU digital COVID certificate, should be the main determinant. In its statement, the Council of the European Union stressed that a person-based approach would simplify to the extent Substantial rules are applied and will provide greater clarity and predictability for travelers.
However, travelers planning to enter the European Union and the Schengen area may be subject to stricter entry rules from February 1, as their vaccination certificates will not be recognized.
The countries of the European Union and the Schengen area have announced that from February 1, travelers whose vaccination passports have expired will be subject to additional rules.