EU eases travel restrictions to boost tourism over summer

European Union countries have agreed to ease travel restrictions this summer, allowing fully-vaccinated tourists to avoid tests or quarantines and opening up the number of countries that they can travel to.

Reports Reuters, ambassadors from the 27 EU member states approved today a modified European Commission proposal that people who have been fully vaccinated for 14 days should be able to travel freely from one EU country to another.

Restrictions for other travellers should be based on the degree to which the country they are coming from has COVID-19 infections under control, the news agency adds.

The announcement comes just a few days after the EU approved the launch of the European Union’s Digital Covid Certificate, a passport-like document that will allow holders to travel freely between member states (click here).

Several countries are already adopting the scheme while Portugal is due to start testing it next week before it officially launches on July 1, Prime Minister António Costa said on Wednesday.

The certificate will be attributed to people who have been vaccinated, who received a negative Covid-19 test result or who have had Covid-19 and recovered.

It will be open to EU citizens and their families and legal residents and will be valid in all EU member states, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The EU has said that it is “working to make sure that the certificates can be compatible with systems in other countries” for holders travelling outside the bloc. The UK is also reported to have been in negotiations.