The European Union will recommend a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from Brazil, the United Kingdom or South Africa, where more contagious variants of the coronavirus have been identified.
The measures would come into force for essential travel, because the non-essential will be “extremely discouraged”, according to the commissioners for justice, Didier Reynders, and for home affairs, Yiva Johansson.
Among the exceptions considered essential are healthcare professionals, transit passengers, travel for imperative family reasons or for studies and highly skilled workers, if the work is economically necessary and cannot be postponed or carried out abroad.
All these exceptions, as well as EU citizens or EU residents coming from outside, must undergo a PCR test no later than 72 hours before departure. Post-arrival testing and quarantines should be mandatory for those coming from countries where variants have been found.
Last week, the Commission announced the creation of a higher risk zone, dark red, to classify countries in which the circulation of the coronavirus is very intense, and the intention to “strongly discourage” the entry of travelers from any country outside the European Union or Schengen area (which includes Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland).
The Commission’s proposal will now be assessed by the Council (which brings together the governments of the 27 members). Each country, however, has the autonomy to impose its own restrictions. Each’s rules for travelers outside the EU are updated on the Re-open EU website.