25 November 2021, by Victoria Séveno

Leaked documents have revealed that the EU is looking to propose a nine-month limit on the validity of COVID-19 vaccines for all travellers from outside of the bloc, Bloomberg reports. 

International COVID-19 vaccines only valid for nine months 

The EU is looking into options for opening up its borders for international travel, and leaked documents reveal some of the policies the bloc may implement in order to protect the health of EU residents and limit the spread of COVID-19

According to papers that have been seen by Bloomberg, the European Commission will propose a nine-month limit on the validity of approved coronavirus vaccines for international travellers. This would mean that, past the nine-month point, travellers will need to have received a so-called booster shot in order to enter the EU.

Those between the ages of six and 17 who are unvaccinated will have to present a recent negative PCR test before departure. Travellers of all ages who are recently recovered or who have received a vaccine that is not (yet) approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will also have to present proof of a negative coronavirus test.

EU to open up borders for all vaccinated travellers

In addition to this, the Commission is set to recommend reopening the bloc’s borders to all travellers that have received a vaccine approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) from January 10, 2022, and abolishing the current white-list system the bloc currently uses for travellers flying from outside of the Union from March 1.

This would mean that all travellers who are vaccinated against or recently recovered from COVID-19 and possesses an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate (or equivalent) would be granted entry to the EU, regardless of their country of origin. According to Bloomberg, this so-called “streamlined approach” will mean that, from next spring, “the EU would make travel fully dependent on the status of the traveller and not on the country of origin.”

These proposals are expected to be announced on Thursday, and will be presented to member states for approval. Under these new rules, the Netherlands and other EU nations would still be able to enforce their own requirements for additional testing or quarantining upon arrival.

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