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EU considering scrapping traffic light system for travel

EU leaders are exploring different ways to ease pandemic travel restrictions and boost vaccination levels, including scrapping the traffic light system for fully vaccinated people, regardless of where they come from.

In a European Commission proposal seen by Bloomberg ahead of a two-day European summit, anyone who has been vaccinated will be allowed travel freely throughout the bloc, effectively eliminating the green and red light system that has been used to implement travel rules.

European Travel Commission

The demand for the system to be scrapped is supported by the European Travel Commission, a non-profit organisation responsible for the promotion of Europe as a tourist destination in third markets.

Its latest position paper calls for the scrapping of the traffic light system, and quotes the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)’s acknowledgement that “EU travel restrictions have not had a significant impact on reducing virus transmission, hospitalisations or deaths.”

“We are hereby calling for the elimination of this colour-coded system altogether and discontinuation of travel restrictions for all Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) holders, irrespective of their country/area of origin,” it said.

“EU countries should thus move towards a traveller risk-based approach, rather than the country-to-country approach that is currently used.”

It seems the European Commission agrees. In its proposal, it says: “Given the very sizeable impact on the exercise of free movement, persons traveling within the EU should in principle no longer be required to quarantine save for very exceptional situations (e.g. new variants of concern).”

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