Travel and travel bans are being discussed by the leaders of Europe tonight. It remains to be seen whether it will lead to joint rules. The introduction of a European corona vaccination certificate is certainly a difficult stumbling block.
Tonight EU leaders are discussing whether to temporarily ban skiing holidays and other unnecessary travel. It is one of the measures they could take to stop the spread of even more contagious variants of the coronavirus in the European Union.
Video meeting about travel
The new video meeting of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his colleagues about the fight against the corona pandemic is about the new British, South African and other mutations of the virus. Now that these are spreading in the EU, concern is growing about this.
Belgium is going to advocate a ban on non-essential travel, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced. He would not want to close the borders, as happened during the first corona wave last spring and has been out of the question since then.
When people travel, the virus travels with them. It must therefore be possible to limit temporary and very targeted trips that are not essential. pic.twitter.com/j5DD3um9Ku
– Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) January 20, 2021
But De Croo does want to limit border traffic to truck drivers, border workers and others who really have to cross the border. According to him, the negative travel advice issued by most countries turns out not to be enough to leave pleasure trips for the time being.
The Netherlands also discourages travel
The Netherlands is also thinking diligently about options to discourage travel, also within the EU. The cabinet has already announced a corona test obligation for people who come to the Netherlands by plane or boat. A quarantine obligation will soon be added to this.
We are very concerned about new variants of the corona virus, such as the extra contagious British variant. Additional measures are needed until at least 9 February to get these virus variants under control.
– Mark Rutte (@MinPres) January 20, 2021
EU leaders are also discussing the introduction of a European corona vaccination certificate during the consultation. But there are still so many legal and practical questions about this that no decision has yet been made. Never mind that such proof will soon become a requirement to travel between EU countries without a corona test or quarantine, as some southern European holiday countries would like to see.
Aligning corona tests
In addition to staying at home and vaccinating, EU leaders are also trying to coordinate testing more closely tonight. There may be some progress: the results of a corona rapid test will soon also be valid in another EU country, as the member states have already agreed in principle.
Merkel: sometimes travel essential
Angela Merkel took an advance on the consultation today. The German Chancellor wants to prevent the need for border closures again. The free movement of goods is essential and must be sustained through cooperation within the EU. She did not rule out the possibility that borders may have to be closed, but she wants to prevent that. She also said Germany is consulting with neighboring countries about corona testing for workers who need to cross the border for work.
Also Read: Concerns about UK variant are growing, as is testing lanes capacity
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