The European Council has recommended that member states of the European Union ease restrictions on non-essential travel into the bloc from March 1.
The Council advises EU nations to lift testing and quarantine requirements for travellers who have been fully vaccinated with an EU or WHO-approved vaccine, or who have recovered from the virus within 180 days prior to travel.
The Council states that:
“The amendments introduced respond to the evolution of the pandemic, the increasing vaccination uptake and administration of booster doses, and the recognition of a growing number of certificates issued by third countries as equivalent to the EU digital Covid certificate.”
Member states should allow non-essential travel for:
🔹 persons vaccinated with an EU or WHO approved vaccine
🔹 recovered persons
🔹 persons from a country on the EU list
— EU Council Press (@EUCouncilPress) February 22, 2022
Note that travellers must have received the last dose of the primary vaccination series at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before arrival to be deemed as “fully vaccinated”. Those whose vaccination is older than nine months must have received a booster dose to gain entry. See our feature: Which countries require a Covid-19 booster jab?
The Council adds that those vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine may be required to take a PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure. Additional measures such as quarantine, isolation or contact tracing for a period of 14 days may also be required.
These restrictions may also apply to those who have recovered from the virus or those who have been vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine but do not hold an EU or equivalent certificate.
The recommendations state that children over the age of six and under 18 should be allowed to travel if they are fully vaccinated/recovered or have a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
The Council has put in place an “emergency brake mechanism” which would see a restriction on all travel into the EU from a third country if the epidemiological situation in that country “has rapidly deteriorated” and if a variant of concern or interest is detected.