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New European Union Council's recommendation on travel to the EU

Today, ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) are adopting an European UnionCouncil Recommendation on external travellers entering the EU. In addition, they call for new measures to help boost air connectivity.

The new guidelines are in line with the recommendation already adopted in January on travel within the EU. Reinforcing the principle of travel criteria based on the personal health status of travellers rather than on the epidemiological situation in the country or area of departure.

The World Health Organisation, and independent third party research, shows that travel restrictions have little or no impact on epidemiological spread.

Therefore, the recommendation issued today includes different criteria.

First, EU Member States should accept all travellers fully vaccinated with EU-approved vaccines, without any restrictions or conditions.

Secondly, EU Member States should accept all travellers fully vaccinated with other WHO-listed vaccines and cured travellers, either without any restrictions or conditions, or only on the condition that they present a negative PCR test before departure.

EU states could also fully accept fully vaccinated travellers who do not hold a valid EU CCD (Covid Certificate Digital) or equivalent, subject to a negative PCR test prior to departure.

While the recommendation is a definite step forward, the industry has called on EU states to go further, towards unconditional acceptance of all WHO-approved vaccines, and to replace PCR with rapid antigen testing options.

Rafael Schvartzman, IATA Regional Vice President for Europe:

We welcome this logical recommendation from the European Council. A vaccinated traveller from outside the EU should not be treated differently from one within the EU. While we urge Member States to implement this recommendation, which is an important step towards living normally with this virus, it is important that the EU considers greater flexibility in the list of approved vaccines.

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