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European Union to propose 9 month limit on Covid vax validity for travel

by Vaishali Sharma

The European Union will propose a nine-month validity limit for Covid-19 immunizations for travel into the EU, as well as favouring vaccinated visitors.

According to a document reviewed by Bloomberg, the European Commission would recommend that member states continue to welcome all passengers vaccinated with EU-approved vaccines. It also asks for nations to reopen as of Jan. 10 to all people who have used World Health Organization-approved immunizations.

The proposed updates introduce the new time limit for the validity of Covid inoculations, suggesting that boosters will be needed beyond the 9-month period.

The proposals, which cover travel from outside the EU, are expected to be announced later on Thursday.

EU governments are pushing for the bloc to smooth out differences in rules to help safeguard the ability to travel after governments have employed contrasting approaches to how long vaccinations should last and how to manage booster shots. The commission offers recommendations that could be implemented by member nations.

Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, had its stock drop as much as 1.3 percent on Thursday, while British competitor EasyJet Plc and Franco-Dutch flag carrier Air France-KLM also saw their stock fall. After plummeting as much as 0.8 percent in Frankfurt, Deutsche Lufthansa AG was little altered.

Countries across the EU are scrambling to counter the pandemic’s fourth wave with varying degrees of restrictions, against a backdrop of uneven vaccination rates. Germany is considering compulsory shots for some vulnerable groups, Italy has imposed limits for unvaccinated people, and Denmark is considering mandating face masks in public transport. Austria has restricted leisure travel as part of a three-week lockdown.

As the case numbers continue to rise across Europe, the EU’s executive arm is planning to discontinue its white list of countries from where all travelers are allowed regardless of vaccination status, as of March 1. From that date on, vaccinated and recovered travelers with an EU digital Covid certificate, or an equivalent pass, would be able to enter the bloc.


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