After having agreed on the establishment of a European certificate, the Twenty-Seven must tune their violins on the measures linked to this certificate. Brussels recommended, Monday, May 31, to exempt from testing and quarantine the residents of the European Union vaccinated. It also proposes to exempt children under 6 from testing.
Intended to facilitate a return to free movement within the Union, the Covid digital certificate will be valid throughout the EU from 1is July, but seven member states will start issuing it on Tuesday. It is therefore on this date that the system begins to function from a technical point of view, according to European Commissioner Didier Reynders.
This document has a triple dimension: it certifies a vaccination, a negative test or an immunity linked to a Covid infection for less than 180 days. In order to revive tourism, the European Commission is trying to harmonize the measures to which travelers will be subject within the EU, but these decisions are ultimately the responsibility of the Member States.
“We propose that there be no tests or quarantines imposed on people who are fully vaccinated or cured” of Covid, said Reynders at a press conference, adding that this was already the practice in many member states. A person will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the last dose needed. Member States can be less strict, for example by deciding that a single dose of vaccine is sufficient to enter their soil.
For the unvaccinated, it would all depend on the incidence rate
For travelers who have not been vaccinated or who have not recently contracted the Covid, the Commission proposes that the measures vary according to their area of origin, based on the color map published each week by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Tests and quarantine could only be imposed on travelers coming from “dark red” areas with an incidence rate of more than 500 cases (per 100,000 inhabitants) over fourteen days. In addition, the Commission proposes to harmonize the period of validity of a PCR test to 72 hours, and to 48 hours that of a rapid antigenic test, when the latter is accepted by the Member State.
Children under 6 would be exempt from testing
In order to facilitate family travel, while the youngest do not have access to vaccination, the European executive recommends not subjecting them to quarantine when their parents are exempt. It also proposes to exempt children under 6 from testing.
For tourists coming from third countries, “If they come to Europe with proof of vaccination, they can also have access to European certificates to travel to the EU”, added Reynders. Concerning the United States, which does not have, “It seems, the intention for the moment to have the equivalent of the certificate at the federal level”, the European Commissioner specified that discussions have been initiated with the American government to allow authentication of the data that will be provided.