The countries of the European Union have agreed on Tuesday what will be the new measures to travel without restrictions from next February 1. The first change has been to establish the requirements for European travelers as a whole, that is, detention tests or quarantines  will no longer depend on the country of origin  but on each person’s digital COVID certificate. As announced in a statement by the Council of the EU, this modification responds  to “the significant increase”  in the administration of vaccines in the EU and  “the rapid application of the COVID certificate” .


All Member States have reconfirmed that  possession of a valid  EU digital COVID certificate  should, in principle, be sufficient for travel during the pandemic. The objective is to simplify the mobility rules that until now were based on the “traffic light map” prepared by the  European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)  based on epidemiological criteria and that establishes the level of pandemic risk in each region. . The new measures aim to focus on the individual situation of each person and not on the region of origin.


If  you are not vaccinated , you can travel if you have had COVID in the previous six months or if you have a  negative PCR  performed no more than 72 hours before or a negative rapid  antigen test  that has been obtained no more than 24 hours before. From the trip. In addition, these travelers may be required to undergo a test prior to arrival or within 24 hours of arrival in the destination country at the latest. Travelers with an essential function or need, cross-border workers and those under 12 years of age will be exempt from compliance with this requirement.


On the other hand, the recommendation itself opens up to more restrictive situations for travel to and from the dark red areas of the “traffic light map” and establishes that it will back down if worrying variants of the virus arise.


The changes will take  effect from next February 1 . But although the ease and unification of criteria for displacement is the objective, it is still a recommendation and not a binding rule. For this reason, the Member States will have the last word.