EU Considers Relaxing Travel Bans In Summer But ‘Question Mark Hovers Over The UK’.
Hopes for summer 2021 holidays have been boosted after the European Commission proposed easing restrictions on travel. Non-essential trips to the EU are effectively restricted to just seven countries with low infection rates – with a spokesman for the Commission saying travel to the UK, which is not on the list, still remains in question.
Under proposals that may come into force by June, travellers from more non-EU states could be allowed to arrive if they have been vaccinated with jabs the bloc has approved. However, Boris Johnson warned on Monday, May 3, that he does not want to see an “influx of disease” when border restrictions are relaxed.
The European Commission said if the Covid situation in a country is considered good, its residents should be allowed to travel in. It is unclear which countries will be allowed to travel but an EU official said Israel, with its rapid vaccination programme, would be.
Several European Union nations are extending or re-imposing lockdown measures ― and with it travel and entry requirements. This is due to a third wave of the pandemic sweeping the continent, fueled by contagious new variants of the coronavirus ― particularly the B117 mutation first discovered in Britain. This variant, which is spreading rapidly in at least 27 European countries and according to the World Health Organization, now dominates in Germany, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal.
Since January EU leaders have been discussing restricting nonessential trips across the bloc’s internal borders to contain the spread of the coronavirus after mutant strains emerged from the UK, South Africa, and Brazil. Since January 24, anybody arriving from outside the EU — possible only for those with essential reasons — would have to have a test for COVID-19 before departure. To combat the virulent UK strain, the EU has already blocked all but freight or travelers on essential trips from entering the bloc from Britain.