COVID vaccines valid for just 9 months? EU eyes new travel framework
- The European Commission is altering its policy on travel restrictions due to the pandemic
- Until now, the EU focussed on country-wise caseload to decide on curbs
- The new framework will prioritise an individual’s vaccination status
Coronavirus vaccine certificates may only be deemed valid for nine months for entry into the European Union, according to a recent recommendation which also calls for prioritising vaccinated travellers for movement into and within member states.
The European Commission has proposed that member states continue to welcome all travellers inoculated with vaccines approved by the EU, as per documents accessed by Bloomberg. The EU wants member states to open up to all those vaccinated by World Health Organization-approved shots by January 10.
According to EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, the body is moving away from a country-based approach to movement to an individual vaccination status-based approach. The European Union is also likely to come up with a new announcement on external travel rules soon.
The introduction of the 9-month deadline for vaccine certificates is an indication that booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be required beyond the period. The EU, however, said that it isn’t ready to propose a validity period for certificates issued on the basis of booster shots.
The European body’s new framework for travel comes at a time when several member states are planning their own travel rules which many a time contradict with one another. The commission’s recommendations are meant to inform all member states while framing policy.
While a larger trend of decline in COVID-19 cases is most parts of the world encouraged the EU, among others, to gradually thinking of opening up, several parts of Europe and other parts are witnessing a renewed surge in infections.
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Breakthrough infections among vaccinated Americans has led to a surge in caseload in the United States causing many hospitals to get overwhelmed. In addition to the threat of vaccine effectiveness waring off after a period of time is the treat of the new highly-mutant coronavirus strain found in South Africa. Countries such as Germany, the UK, Italy, Israel have imposed restrictions on travel from several African nations.