EU mulls allowing entry of vaccinated non-EU nationals

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BRUSSELS

The European Commission proposed on Monday to allow non-EU citizens to travel to the bloc if they are vaccinated.

According to the proposal, EU member states should allow travel into the bloc of those people who have received an EU-approved vaccine at least 14 days before arrival, the EU executive body announced in a press statement.

Currently four jabs – Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson – are authorized by the European Medicines Agency, and the regulator is reviewing the Russian Sputnik V jab.

The European Commission expects the changes to be adopted by the end of May, but it would enter into force once EU states apply the digital green certificate for their own citizens. The regulation on green certificates is expected to be approved by June the earliest.

The bloc decided to restrict the entry of non-EU nationals to its territory last March in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the moment, non-essential travel is allowed for the residents of Australia, China, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand regardless of their vaccination status due to the good epidemiological status of these countries.

The European Commission expects EU countries to extend this list significantly in the near future.

It would allow other non-EU nationals to enter the bloc even if they have received a different jab or not been inoculated by showing a valid PCR test and undergoing quarantine.

The European Commission is only responsible for proposing recommendation on imposing or lifting travel restriction on citizens from non-EU countries in order to encourage EU member states to coordinate their actions.

In reality, EU countries can freely decide to whom to open their borders.

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