The Covid 19 travel pass for the European Union will be valid for 9 months

The European Commission adopted rules on Tuesday that will make the European Union COVID-19 certificate valid for travel nine months after the primary vaccination schedule is completed. The proposal comes as several EU member states impose new requirements on travelers in an effort to curb the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

According to EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, the EU Commission is opposed to additional requirements and is evaluating the measures.
From February 1, the new rules will be binding on the EU’s 27 member states. The rule can be overturned by a qualified majority of EU governments or a simple majority of European Parliament members, but officials say there is enough support for it.

The rule replaces a non-binding recommendation issued by the EU Commission in November.

When the rule goes into effect, EU states will be required to allow fully vaccinated travelers with a valid pass to enter their territory. They could, however, impose additional requirements, such as negative tests or quarantines, as an exception justified by a deteriorating situation, as long as they are proportionate. Seven EU states are currently requiring fully vaccinated visitors from other EU countries to also show a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival, which some see as undermining the EU pass’s credibility. Italy, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Latvia, Cyprus, and Austria are among the countries involved.

“We prefer to use for the free movement in Europe only the certificate without additional measures,” Reynders said.

He noted that the additional requirements could be justified by concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant, but governments would have to demonstrate that they were proportionate and necessary.

Reynders stated that the Commission was still evaluating the measures and that infringement proceedings for time-limited restrictions made little sense. The national measures are mostly limited to the Christmas season, with the exception of Italy, which extends until the end of January. The new regulations only apply to international travel.

Governments will be able to customize the length of the COVID-19 pass for access to events or indoor activities within their borders. After a booster shot, the validity of the COVID-19 pass will be extended indefinitely because there is currently insufficient information about the duration of protection from boosters, according to an EU official.

In the EU, a primary vaccination schedule for COVID-19 consists of two shots of vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna, or a single jab of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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