European Covid certificate: children of parents exempted from quarantine should be too

Children who travel with their parents should not be quarantined if their parents are exempt, the European Commission proposed on Monday, through Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders. It also calls on Member States to exempt children under 6 from testing.

These proposals are presented to the Member States to update the European recommendations on free movement in times of coronavirus, as well as for the most harmonized possible implementation of the future European Covid certificate, expected for July 1. This document should allow its holder to travel more easily this summer in the EU, by proving either that he has been fully vaccinated, that he has undergone a negative test or that he has a certain immunity afterwards. have recovered from coronavirus contamination. The European executive proposes to consider any candidate for travel as fully vaccinated fourteen days after having received his last dose of vaccine (or his only dose, in the case of the Janssen vaccine from Johnson and Johnson. For people fully vaccinated or recovered, the Commission proposes to Member States not to impose any testing or quarantine, whatever their origin or destination.

For other people, the measures that Member States could take would remain linked to the color of the country of origin on the European pandemic map (ECDC map). Thus, testing and quarantine would remain recommended for countries in dark red or with a high presence of variants. The recommendations would be lightened if the traveler comes from a red zone (quarantine possible except in the event of a negative test before departure), orange (test) or green (no restriction). Given the diversity of the deadlines linked to the tests among the 27, the Commission also proposes a standardization: a PCR test would be considered valid for 72 hours, and a rapid antigenic test 48 hours. As vigilance remains in view of the new variants, an emergency mechanism must allow States confronted with a rapid deterioration of their epidemiological situation to reintroduce restrictive measures, even for people vaccinated or recovered. The restrictions that must be applied, such as tests or quarantines, remain the responsibility of the Member States, in line with the specific situation of each country. “But what we are advocating is that if certain Member States decide to impose restrictions on free movement, this recommendation offers a coordination key to ensure that these decisions are proportional and non-discriminatory for all European citizens”, underlined Didier Reynders.

Belgium stood out this winter by being one of the EU countries not to follow European recommendations when it banned non-essential travel, at the height of the second wave. The Council (Member States), which had reached a pre-agreement with Parliament on the European Covid certificate a fortnight ago, has yet to vote on the proposal for a recommendation put forward on Monday by the Commission. The latter hopes that it will be done by mid-June.

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