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The European Union has approved a modified European Commission proposal to allow people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel freely from one EU country to another without having to test or quarantine.
According to Reuters, restrictions for unvaccinated travelers would be based on the COVID-19 situation in the country they are visiting from.
Friday's approval comes just weeks ahead of the EU's highly anticipated rollout of COVID-19 travel certificates, which will indicate whether a person has been vaccinated, has recovered from a previous infection or has recently tested negative for COVID-19. The new system is expected to be ready by July 1, with some countries already implementing the new protocol.
A traffic light system will be used to highlight the safety of or threat level in various regions, with no restrictions on travel from green zones, orange zones prompting a potential COVID-19 test and travel from red areas perhaps requiring quarantine. Non-essential travel will be discouraged from regions in dark red.
EU member states will have the option to pull a metaphorical "emergency brake" to ban all travelers from any region experiencing a spike in more infectious variants of COVID-19, Reuters reported. What's more, the system is designed to include the non-EU members of the open-border Schengen zone such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Ultimately, border policy is determined by individual EU countries so it remains to be seen which if any will set their own rules for entry.
A Maryland native and wanderer who has lived across the U.S. from North Carolina to SoCal, Patrick Clarke graduated from Towson...
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