Coronavirus: Commission proposes to ease restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU while addressing variants through new ‘emergency brake’ mechanism

Economy - published on 03 May 2021

Source: European Commission press office

Today, the Commission is
that Member States ease the current restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU to take into account the progress of vaccination campaigns and developments in the epidemiological
situation worldwide.

The Commission proposes to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation but also all people who have received
the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine. This could be extended to vaccines having completed the WHO emergency
use listing process.

In addition, the Commission proposes to raise, in line with the evolution of the epidemiological situation in the EU, the threshold related to the number of new COVID-19 cases applied to determine
a list of countries from which all travel should be permitted. This should allow the Council to expand this list.

At the same time, the emergence of coronavirus variants of concern calls for continued vigilance. Therefore as counter-balance, the Commission proposes a new ’emergency brake’ mechanism, to be
coordinated at EU level and which would limit the risk of such variants entering the EU. This will allow Member States to act quickly and temporarily limit to a strict minimum all travel from
affected countries for the time needed to put in place appropriate sanitary measures.

An off-the-record Technical Briefing for accredited journalists only will take place at 11h today.

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