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EU has begun efforts to further ease travel restrictions to Europe

DUBLIN: The European Union (EU) has begun efforts to ease travel restrictions with an “emergency brake” mechanism. The European Commission has suggested that EU member states should ease their travel restrictions in view of the global pandemic situation and vaccination progress.

The Commission recommends that those who have been vaccinated at least 14 days prior to departure be exempted from the restrictions. It also proposed expanding the list of countries from which travel to the EU should be permitted by raising the threshold on the number of COVID-19 cases.

As a next step in the process, technical discussions on these proposals will take place today and will be reviewed by EU Ambassadors tomorrow. It will then be left to the European Council for a final decision. However, the Irish government has indicated that it will take at least a month to finalise the new system for non-essential travel to the European Union.

Emergency brake system

The EU Commission has said that the new system would have an “emergency brake” mechanism. This mechanism would allow Member States to act quickly and impose restrictions depending on the situation. Member states can make their own decisions on restricting travel for countries affected by the emergence of new corona virus strains.

The EU Commission said in a statement that it wants to allow all people from countries with good epidemiological situations and all people who have received full doses of the EU-approved vaccine to travel to the EU.

“This could be extended to vaccines having completed the WHO emergency use listing process. In addition, the Commission proposes to raise… the threshold related to the number of new COVID-19 cases used to determine a list of countries from which all travel should be permitted,” it added.

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