EU urges member states to abolish 'cumbersome' travel restrictions
The European Commission on Tuesday urged member states to discontinue any additional travel measures introduced when Omicron began to spread across the EU. Holders of valid EU digital Covid certificates should be allowed to enjoy travel restriction-free, the Commission said.
In a joint statement, Commissioners for Health and Justice, Stella Kyriakides and Didier Reynders said the extra restrictions made travel "more cumbersome and less predictable across the EU."
The 27 member states have now agreed on new recommendations regarding the EU Digital COVID Certificate, they said. The possession of a valid health pass should in principle be sufficient when traveling during the pandemic, and any additional quarantine and testing requirements should be abolished.
The Commissioners urged EU governments to follow up on the agreement, which comes into effect on Feb. 1, and implement the common rules without delay "to ensure coordination and clarity for citizens and travelers."
"Each member state decides based on the circumstances it is facing. But Omicron has by now spread across Europe, and it is time to look at the discontinuation of the additional travel measures that a number of member states have introduced in the past weeks," they added.
More than 1.2 billion certificates have been issued, they said, adding: "It is a true European success story that has gone global."