The tourism sector is one of the most severely impacted industries by the Covid-19 pandemic. Prolonged periods of complete lockdown and travel restrictions affected the overall economy of many nations, along with local tourism businesses and the working-class people. As if Covid-19 itself wasn’t enough, newer mutants of the coronavirus like Delta and Omicron have time and again been successful in instilling fear among the nations of yet another massive health crisis in the country through the entry of infected foreign tourists.
EU Member Countries Agree To Lift Tourist Travel Restrictions
Earlier, the EU member countries had strict testing and quarantine protocols enforced for all people traveling from non-EU foreign countries. Strict arrangements were made to test each and every passenger who landed at the airport with mandatory quarantine at dedicated isolation facilities for at least 14 days. These restrictions were made to prevent another wave of the pandemic caused by the entry of a mutant variant of the virus through foreign travelers.
The EU countries are Belgium, Republic of Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Germany, Estonia, Croatia, Netherlands, Finland, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Slovenia, Malta, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania, Luxembourg, Poland, Lithuania, and Portugal.
However, the pandemic has now evolved, and we know more about the virus than ever before, including the fact that vaccination is the most effective method of prevention of disease and spread. Along with this, we now have better healthcare facilities and hospitals are now fully equipped with ample amounts of medicines, ventilators, and oxygen cylinders to tackle any upcoming pandemic situations.
With huge amounts of vaccination uptake worldwide, the 27 European Union member countries are all set to welcome foreign tourists into their lands with, of course, certain health and safety-related conditions.
These EU member countries have reached a common consensus to further relax the travel restrictions for foreign tourists who are either fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease or have recently recovered from Covid-19, as recommended by the European Council.
Starting March 2022, the 27 EU member countries will allow tourist travel without any mandatory coronavirus testing or institutional quarantine requirements for passengers who have been fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by the World Health Organization or the ones that have been authorized in the EU which are produced by any of the following companies: Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer-BioNTech.
These vaccines have undergone several rounds of testing by the developers and regulatory authorities of the EU which includes the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Along with the quality tests like purity, ingredients, and manufacturing process, these vaccines have also undertaken stringent clinical trial processes to prove their efficacy and harmless administration. These processes have extremely strict procedures, standards, and protocols considering the fact that even the minutest mistake could prove fatal to mankind.
Individuals who have received their last dose of vaccination a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 270 days would be allowed entry into the EU nations without any mandatory testing or quarantine requirements. Furthermore, individuals who have received their booster dose of vaccination or those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 180 days would also travel without any restrictions.
Apart from these, children under the age of 6 who are traveling with an adult would also be exempt from Covid-19 prevention protocols, provided the accompanying adult meets the mandatory requirements of vaccination and Covid-19 recovery. But individuals who have been administered with vaccines that have been approved by the WHO but have not been authorized by the EU will need to provide a negative RT-PCR report and may also have to stay under a specific period of quarantine.