“As the epidemiological situation is improving and vaccination campaigns are speeding up all over the EU, the Commission is proposing that Member States gradually ease travel measures, including most importantly for the holders of the EU Digital COVID Certificate,” declared the Commission on Monday.
It also proposed an “emergency brake” system to border travel should new variants of COVID-19 start to rise, which would quickly reintroduce restrictions “if the epidemiological situation deteriorates rapidly.”
The commission advised that those with a “vaccination certificate” – more commonly known as a “vaccine passport” – should be exempt from “travel-related testing or quarantine 14 days after having received the last dose.”
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders noted that the past several weeks “have brought a continuous downward trend in infection numbers, showing the success of the vaccination campaigns across the EU,” and expressed his hope that the member states would work together using the vaccine certificate system to make freedom of movement possible again.
European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides also praised freedom of movement between states as one of the EU’s “most cherished rights,” adding, “We need coordinated and predictable approaches for our citizens that would offer clarity and avoid inconsistent requirements across Member States.”
Freedom of movement in the European Union allows residents in one member state to easily travel, work, and live in another state.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, over 234,000,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the European Union and European Economic Area, with Germany, France, Italy, and Spain receiving the most doses from manufacturers.
32,364,274 “cases” of COVID-19 have been recorded in the European Union and Economic Area since the start of the pandemic, with 720,358 deaths.