19:32 / 16.12.2021.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

EU leaders discuss travel restrictions at year-end summit

European Council

European Council

Foto: European Union / European Union

EU leaders on Thursday underlined the importance of vaccination in the fight against COVID-19, including a booster shot given the worrying Omicron variant.

The vaccination of all and receiving a booster shot is crucial and urgently necessary, according to European Council conclusions on the pandemic.


"We all warned about the importance of the new variant, omicron, which everyone takes very seriously. We spoke about the speed of the spread of this new strain, and we talked about joint efforts to better coordinate policies related to health care. Conclusions will be made calling for a third dose, which we think is very important in order to better protect our fellow citizens," said Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Brussels.


EU heads of state or government said it is crucial to overcome the suspiciousness about vaccination and to fight vaccine disinformation.


As to travel restrictions, the European Council called for coordinated efforts to respond to the situation based on available scientific evidence, and for imposing travel restrictions based on objective criteria, without undermining the single market or disproportionately disrupting free movement within the EU.


Plenković told the press COVID certificates facilitated free movement this past summer and that this helped Croatia to record 90% of the numbers logged in the record tourism year in 2019.


EU leaders called for travel recommendations within the EU that the Commission published last month to be updated as soon as possible.


The Commission recommended a person-based approach, i.e. that a person with a valid digital COVID certificate should not be subjected to additional restrictions such as testing or quarantine.


Persons without a certificate could be required to get tested before or upon arrival.


The Commission also recommended that the certificates be valid nine months after the last vaccination.


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