Monday's agenda, May 3, 2021

Monday’s agenda, May 3, 2021


Covid and reopening, Europe experiences summer: the entry of vaccines from outside the European Union

In light of the summer season, the European Union is preparing to reopen its doors to non-EU travelers who have vaccinated themselves against Covid-19. In addition, the requirements for classifying countries as “safe” from an epidemiological point of view have become less stringent, with the threshold for the number of positives per 100,000 inhabitants quadrupled, which today is “very strict”. These are the two measures that the European Commission recommends to member states to implement in light of the summer, in light of the progress of vaccinations, and which should gradually lead to an improvement in the epidemiological situation. These two mitigations are balanced by the introduction of “ emergency brakes, ” and the possibility of preventing entry to tourists from countries where variants of the “ dangerous ” Sars-CoV-2 virus are detected, for example to raise concerns about a health risk profile. These are always recommendations, and they are not binding on member states, which should allow greater coordination to re-open to non-European tourism, in this particular case from the USA, Great Britain and Israel, countries with higher vaccination rates than Europe. European Union. In detail, the European Commission proposes to member states to allow entry into the European Union for non-essential reasons not only for all travelers from countries with a “good epidemiological situation”, but also for all people who have received, such as at least 14 days before arrival in the European Union, “the last dose.” Recommended “from the EU approved Covid vaccine, ie the first and second doses of Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and the single dose of Janssen (J&J). The permit could be extended to vaccines that “have completed the WHO emergency use process”. Children, currently excluded from vaccinations, should be able to travel with their vaccinated parents if they pass the PCR test with a negative result, no later than 72 hours before reaching their destination. In these cases, “Member States may request additional tests upon arrival”. The novelty relates to non-essential travel from countries outside the European Union, while it is already permitted for basic reasons (health workers, transport workers, seafarers, students, etc.). But beware: the fact that a vaccinated person can enter does not necessarily mean that he does not have to undergo a swabbing and / or quarantine, if the state so decides. The hope is that by the time the recommendation is ready, presumably in early June, the epidemiological situation has improved, also thanks to vaccinations, and therefore these restrictions will be gradually abandoned, which is a disaster for tourism. The European Union is not a federal state, but a group of 27 sovereign states: in this area, the competencies are national, and therefore the European Union cannot prevent countries from adopting the measures it deems necessary, but the intention is to at least reach better coordination. So far, 15 months after the epidemic reached the European Union, some countries are working on restrictions in a semi-independent manner, such as Ireland, which imposes long quarantine in hotels on citizens of some European Union countries, including Italians, or the like. Belgium, which, despite hosting community institutions, requires two examinations and a one-week quarantine (regardless of the result of the first test), with control over the quarantine intercom. In addition to the green light for vaccinated people, the Commission proposes to raise, “in line with the evolution of the epidemiological situation in the European Union”, from 25 to 100 cumulative cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days, the threshold for the number of positive cases used in drawing up the list of countries that must be allowed for each trip In which. A senior EU official explains that the current limit of 25 cases is “very strict” and it was decided “only because it was the average at the time”. The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a limit of 100, which is “better than the current European Union average”. This change, if accepted, should allow the council to expand the list of countries from which travelers can be re-entered for non-essential reasons (including tourists): today there are seven, namely Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China, provided reciprocity is confirmed. Taiwan’s absence from the “ safe list, ” a country that has recorded only 18 deaths from Covid since the epidemic, indicates that the list, compiled by the council, was not developed exclusively on the basis of epidemiology. Standards. An EU source explained that the updated list would be “much longer”, although the choice would always remain with the member states: Israel and Serbia will likely enter the list again. So now the openings. In addition, given the circulation of variants of the Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2, the Commission proposes to introduce a counterweight, that is, an emergency braking system, to be coordinated at the European Union level, to reduce the risk of the new entry. Variables. This system should allow countries to act “quickly” and “temporarily restrict what is most essential” of travel from affected countries for the time needed to implement necessary health measures. It is now up to the Board to evaluate the panel’s proposal: A first discussion at IPCR (Integrated Political Crisis Response) is expected tomorrow, followed by a debate at Coreper on May 5.

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