European Commission confirms July 1 reopening for international travel
The European Commission confirms the reopening of July 1 for international travel.
Airlines executives have been told by the European Commission that it has pledged to resume international travel within the EU from July 1, giving hope for a revival of tourism for the summer.
However, a full restart between Europe and the United States could take longer, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Airlines for Europe (A4E) via a virtual summit.
Reynders said: “We are trying to implement a lifting of the restrictions by July 1st. We have agreed on a document, the Digital Covid Certificate, and it will be recognized in each Member State. It will become compulsory from July.
“We are sure that for the first time during the pandemic, we will provide the airlines with the means to return. For the first time, we are moving in the right direction. We are now equipped to have the first good season.
When asked if he was convinced the certification program would work this summer, Reynders insisted, “I’m quite sure.”
He also told the summit of major European airlines: “We are making recommendations to member states on how to lift the restrictions. [and] we are now having discussions so as not to have additional restrictions for those who are vaccinated. “
Reynders made no mention of travel specifically to and from the UK, but mutual recognition by the EU of the UK NHS vaccination certificate and by the UK of the EU Covid digital certificate is expected.
Discussions about a restart of travel to the United States have focused on the recognition of vaccinated passengers since the US government has no plans to introduce a national Covid certificate – although it has sanctioned international travel for those who are fully vaccinated.
Reynders said: “We are starting to talk with the United States, but so far it doesn’t seem like there is a plan for a federal certificate, so we have to agree on how to do it. make. It is possible that it is possible to travel from the US to the EU with proof of vaccination. We are in discussions to see if it will be possible to go the other way to the United States.
He noted that an EU-US summit on June 15 could push things forward, saying: “The intention is to start over.” Reynders suggested that “presenting this intention” would be the summit’s most likely outcome.
US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have agreed to set up a task force to consider how to restart US-UK travel ahead of the G7 summit in the UK this week.
Asked about the EU’s lack of coordination during much of the crisis, Reynders said: “We are sure it will be better now than at the start of the pandemic. The certificate is no longer a recommendation, it is binding. Member States have agreed to use it. We now have a binding instrument. We want to avoid fragmentation. For example, do you need a negative test 48 hours before travel or 72 hours before? It must be possible to agree.
“It’s easier to coordinate, to work together when removing restrictions than when adding restrictions. “
general manager of Iata Willie walsh said at the top: “I would have expected Europe to do better and coordinate better. We have seen so many different decisions without real evidence that they are based on health risks and much more evidence that they are based on political risks. “