Italy and EU countries announce major travel shift in March

Most EU countries have been told they should allow tourists to enter their borders from early March, it has been announced. This comes as more and more countries continue to open their borders after the Omicron variant.

European countries have been told by the Council of the EU that they should lift the ban on non-essential travel for citizens of third countries who have been vaccinated against Covid-19. The Council of the EU has said that EU countries should allow entry of non-essential travelers who are vaccinated with one of the vaccines that have been given the green light by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or of the World Health Organization (WHO).

High-risk third countries include Afghanistan, Ghana and Pakistan. A statement from the EU said: “The changes introduced to respond to the evolution of the pandemic, the increase in vaccination and the administration of booster doses, and the recognition of an increasing number of certificates issued by third countries as equivalent to the EU digital COVID certificate.”

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It comes as Italy also announced it would ease restrictions for unvaccinated tourists on March 1. Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on his Facebook page: “As of March 1, for arrivals from all non-European countries, the same rules already established for European countries will be in effect.

He also added that a vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or negative test result would be enough to enter Italy from that date. Speranza signed an ordinance late Tuesday making the changes to the law, according to Italian media, but the official text was not immediately available.

Italy opens up to unvaccinated travelers

Italy operates a two-tier health certificate system, which means that proof of vaccination or recovery (not a negative test result) is currently required to access everything from hotels and restaurants to public transport, according to to the rules which must remain in force until at least March 31.

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