EU gives Britons green-light for summer getaways as bloc to reopen to non-essential travel | World | News

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Under current restrictions, people from only seven countries, including Australia and Singapore, are allowed to enter the 27-nation EU on holidays or for other non-essential reasons, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. Under the European Commission’s new proposals, which require member states’ approval, foreign citizens who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who arrive from countries with a “good epidemiological situation” would be allowed in. People arriving from Britain, Russia and a number of other countries would be able to meet the new criteria, according to data provided by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) while US citizens would not.

European Commission spokesperson Adalbert Jahnz said: “The Commission is proposing to ease restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU to take into account progress of vaccination campaigns and developments in the epidemiological situation worldwide while addressing variants through a new emergency brake mechanism.

“Among the main changes, we propose to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons.

“Not only for persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation but also for all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU authorised vaccine.

“This could be extended to vaccines having completed the WHO emergency use process.

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“In addition, we also propose to raise the threshold used to determine a list of countries of which all travel should be permitted.

“This should allow the council to expand this list.

“At the same time, the emergence of coronavirus variants of concern calls for continued vigilance.

“Therefore as a counter-balance, we propose an emergency brake mechanism to be coordinated at EU level which would limit the risks of such variants entering the EU.”

Thomas Cook chief executive Alan French said he expects most popular destinations, particularly in Europe, to be open to UK holidaymakers.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “When the holidays proper start at the end of June, we are expecting most of the countries that the UK goes on holiday to – Europe particularly – to be open.

“We are expecting Portugal, Spain, Greece, Croatia and so forth to be open, it would be nice if Turkey was open.

“When we look at what is going on in those countries, both in terms of infection rates and how they are preparing for holidaymakers, I think there is great progress being made.”

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly said he recognised a “natural desire to go further and to go faster” with the road map but the Government’s priority is to make changes when “safe” to do so.

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