EU’s move to lift travel restrictions gets thumbs up from WTTC: “Now is the time to rebuild"

EU’s move to lift travel restrictions gets thumbs up from WTTC: “Now is the time to rebuild”

LONDON — This week’s directive from the European Council advising EU members to drop travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers is getting the thumbs up from the WTTC.

As reported yesterday, the EC had recommended that EU nations lift all testing and quarantine requirements for people who received vaccines authorized in the EU or approved by the WHO. That includes Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, among others.

The EC’s guidance also indicates that no test or additional requirements should be applied to children under six who are traveling with an adult.

The EC’s recommendation is non-binding, so each country is free to set its own rules, however the EU’s executive commission welcomed the EC’s directive. Plus, many EU countries have already done away with most of their travel restrictions, or plan to ease restrictions in the coming weeks, including France, Switzerland, Germany and more.

And while it’s not a member of the EU anymore, the UK’s test-free entry for vaccinated travellers is also now in effect.

“The updates will further facilitate travel from outside the EU into the EU, and take into account the evolution of the pandemic, the increasing vaccination uptake worldwide and the administration of booster doses,” the European Commission said.

In the wake of the news, Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, spoke out in favour of the more streamlined and easy-to-understand approach recommended by the EC, highlighted by the recommendation to drop the travel ban that had been barring travellers from third countries. The EU’s non-essential travel ban is set to expire March 1, 2022.

“WTTC welcomes the sensible decision by the EU to drop travel restrictions before Easter,” said Simpson.

“The patchwork of rules and regulations did nothing to prevent the spread of COVID but did cause immense damage to the economy of Europe causing the loss of jobs and businesses,” she said.

“Now is time to rebuild travel and tourism and connect Europe to the world.”

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