Delegation of the European Union to Japan

Coronavirus: Commission proposes additional safeguards on travel from outside the EU and updated criteria for applying travel restrictions

Brussels, 25/01/2021 - 11:00, UNIQUE ID: 210126_1
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EU News 17/2021

Today the Commission is proposing additional safeguards and requirements for international travellers into the EU. New coronavirus variants and the volatile health situation worldwide call for further action to ensure that any travel to the EU takes place safely. To reflect the latest scientific advice, the Commission is also proposing updated criteria taking into account the testing rate, testing positivity and detection of variants of concern when deciding on the application of restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU to a specific non-EU country.  

Additional safeguards on travel from outside the EU 

Member States should introduce additional measures to ensure that travel into the EU takes place safely. This concerns those travelling to the EU for essential reasons, EU citizens and long-term residents as well as their family members, and those travelling from countries for which the non-essential travel restriction was lifted: 

  • Mandatory testing before departure
  • Stricter measures to address virus variants of concern
  • Common European Passenger Locator Form

Updated criteria  

When considering whether to lift restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU from a non-EU country, the Council should consider the case notification rate, the testing rate, the test positivity rate, as well as the incidence of variants of concern. The following criteria should apply, reflecting the most recent scientific advice: 

  • 14-day cumulative COVID-19 case notification rate (i.e. total number of newly notified COVID-19 cases per 100 000 population in the previous 14 days at regional level) not higher than 25; 
  • Testing rate (i.e. number of tests for COVID-19 infection per 100 000 population carried in the previous seven days) superior to 300; 
  • Test positivity rate (i.e. percentage of positive tests among all tests for COVID-19 infection carried out in the previous seven days) not higher than 4%; 
  • Nature of the virus present in the country, in particular whether variants of concern of the virus have been detected.

Member States should also continue to take account of the reciprocity granted to EU countries.

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