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European Union adopts an individual-based approach regarding restrictions

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The European Union is making its COVID-19 travel restrictions easier to understand by focusing on individuals rather than regions.

Travelers with a valid EU digital COVID certificate will no longer be subject to extra restrictions to their freedom of movement as of February 1, 2022.

With the exception of places where the virus is circulating at exceptionally high levels, COVID-19 measures are now applied based on the person’s condition rather than the situation at the regional level.

The traveler’s COVID-19 vaccination, test, or recovery status, backed by a valid EU digital COVID certificate, is the determining element in whether or not they can enter or travel into and within Europe.

A valid EU COVID-19 certificate includes the following:

A vaccination certificate for a vaccine approved at European level if at least 14 days and no more than 270 days have passed since the last dose of the primary vaccination; or if the person has received a booster dose. Member states could also accept vaccination certificates for vaccines approved by national authorities or the WHO.

A negative PCR test result was acquired within 72 hours of departure or a negative rapid antigen test was obtained within 24 hours of departure.

A certificate of recovery stating that it has been no more than 180 days since the initial positive test result.

Travelers who do not have an EU digital COVID certificate may be requested to take a test before to or within 24 hours of their arrival.

The new approach also includes an ’emergency brake,’ which allows the EU council to evaluate and reassess the current law if a new COVID-19 variant emerges.


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