Citizens from third countries may be eligible to travel to the European Union Member States even for unnecessary reasons after the Council of the EU has advised the block to lift the ban on non-essential travel for all persons who have completed their immunization process against the virus and for the recovered ones.

The Council of the EU has updated its recommendations taking into account the evolution of the pandemic, the vaccination rate, the administration of the booster shots as well as the recognition of a growing number of vaccination certificates issued by authorities in third countries, as equivalent to the EU Digital COVID Certificate, VisaGuide.World reports.

Following this recommendation, the restrictions imposed to contain the further spread of the virus should be applied, taking into account the situation in the third country as well as the individual status of the person.

“Member states should allow non-essential travel for persons vaccinated with an EU- or WHO-approved vaccine, recovered persons, and all persons traveling from a country on the EU list. For some of these travelers, additional measures such as PCR testing before travel could apply,” the statement published by the Council of the EU reads.

The Council has recommended the Member State to lift the restrictions imposed on travel for unnecessary purposes for all persons who have completed their immunization process against the virus with any of the vaccines approved by the European Union or the World Health Organisation.

In addition, EU countries have been advised to lift the restrictions on non-essential travel that affect persons who have recovered from the Coronavirus within 180 days before traveling to the EU.

The Council has recommended the Member States to require a negative result of the Coronavirus test, not older than 72 hours before departure, or additional preventive measures such as quarantine rules for persons who have been vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine.

“A negative PCR test before departure could also be required for persons who have recovered from COVID-19, as well as for persons who have been vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine but do not hold an EU or equivalent certificate,” the statement published by the Council of EU reads.

Member States have also been advised to permit travel for children between six and 18 years old who meet the travel rules.

“All children other children over six and under 18 should be allowed to travel with a negative PCR test taken at the earliest 72 hours before departure. Member States could require additional testing after arrival, as well as quarantine or isolation,” the statement notes.

The Council has emphasized that for restrictions to be abolished for travelers from a third country, the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,00 inhabitants over the past two weeks increased from 75 to 100. In addition, the weekly testing rate per 100,000 inhabitants also increased from 300 to 600.

Travelers from the following countries which have reached an agreement with the European Union on mutual recognition of COVID-19 certificates will benefit the most from the recent recommendation of the Council of the European Union:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Benin
  • Cabo Verde
  • El Salvador
  • Faroe Islands
  • Georgia
  • Israel
  • Iceland
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Liechtenstein
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Togo
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • The United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • The Vatican

The recent proposal of the Council of the EU comes as part of efforts to ease the travel process and help the travel and tourism industry recover from the damages caused by the Coronavirus and its new strains.

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