Easier travel. | NACHO DOCE


The European Union's public health agency is proposing a revision of COVID-19 rules which could ease travel for vaccinated people and drop a colour-coded system that limits trips to and from areas with high levels of infections.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) made its non-binding proposal at meetings of EU health specialists this week, EU diplomats said, part of a discussion about how to open up travel further as vaccination rates increase.

The ECDC, which has an advisory role, has colour-coded EU regions from green to yellow and red according to their rates of COVID-19 notifications and testing and percentage of positive tests. The EU has broadly tailored travel restrictions according to the colour.
However, in its report the ECDC highlighted weakness of this traffic light system, including different testing systems in EU countries that hindered statistical comparisons. Increased vaccination uptake also needed to be taken into account.

In the current situation, it said, the travel restrictions did not have a significant impact on reducing transmissions, hospitalisations or deaths. Previous measures had also not halted the spread of new variants.