Vaccine travel: EU plans to welcome vaccinated tourists from countries with low infection rates


With vaccination drives happening in many countries, the world is witnessing a cautious reopening of borders for international tourists. For almost a year, the European Union had stopped the incoming of visitors in the pandemic. But now, it has planned to ease travel restrictions.

A CNN report states that in June 2021, the European Union could open to fully vaccinated vacationers from countries with “low Covid infection rates”. Like everywhere else, travel industries here are also waiting to be revived and this move — of making sure non-essential travelling also gets to happen — could benefit them. The report states that this plan also allows for an “emergency brake” should infection rates rise again.

Per the report, the EU also wants to relax qualification rules for adding to its ‘safe travel list of countries’ whose travellers do not need to be vaccinated or enter quarantine. It is being said that the move comes as some members of the 27-nation bloc plan to go ahead with the opening up anyway. For instance, the tourist-starved and dependent Greece, last month, said almost all fully vaccinated or Covid-tested international travellers can enter from mid-May.

Published by the European Commission, the proposals advised those arriving must have been inoculated 14 days prior to their arrival, with only a vaccine from its approved list — including BioNTech/Pfizer, Oxford University/AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.

“Member states could also extend this to those vaccinated with a vaccine having completed the WHO emergency use listing process,” the EC said in a statement.

The EU plan includes a ‘Digital Green Certificate’ — a proof of vaccination or immunity, which allows for travel across internal and external EU borders. International travellers can obtain one by submitting evidence to their initial destination country that they’ve been vaccinated, the report states.

Additionally, before it is introduced, member states will need to verify the authenticity of any vaccination proof submitted by visitors.

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