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Senin, 03 Mei 2021

EU could open up its borders to foreign tourists next month as Boris Johnson urges caution for Britons - ABC News

The European Union is set to open up its borders to foreign tourists next month in a bid to boost summer tourism, as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged caution for Britons hoping to have overseas holidays when restrictions loosen later this month.

In plans put forward by the European Commission, vaccinated tourists and those from countries with low COVID-19 infection rates would be allowed to visit from the start of June.

"The Commission proposes to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine," the commission said in a statement released on Monday.

Four vaccines – made by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Moderna – have been approved for use in the EU by the European Medicines Agency.

The proposals will have to be approved by all 27 EU member states, with a meeting of the European Council to discuss them set down for Tuesday.

If the proposal goes ahead, EU countries would review the situation every two weeks.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen backed the proposals, writing on Twitter that it was "time to revive EU tourism industry and for cross-border friendships to rekindle – safely".

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An "emergency break mechanism" would also come into force, which would allow EU member states to quickly act to restrict travel from countries where COVID levels spike or new variants emerge.

Last summer Europe loosened restrictions which allowed many visitors to travel freely from country to country for overseas holidays, which was followed by a second wave of coronavirus infections that was deadlier than the first.

But the arrival of various vaccines against the disease has curtailed concerns about a similar situation occurring, while Greece has already said it will allow in vaccinated tourists.

Under the current criteria, Australia is one of only seven countries whose residents are allowed into the EU for non-essential travel, as it is deemed a country with a "good epidemiological situation".

However, Australia's current ban on overseas travel means Australians are restricted from leaving the country unless they can gain an exemption.

Johnson urges caution ahead of restrictions loosening

A woman in a bright blue suit with matching face scarf standing next to a trolley stacked with suitcases
Current coronavirus restrictions in the UK ban overseas holidays and non-essential travel.(

Reuters: Henry Nicholls

)

Meanwhile Boris Johnson said the UK had to be "cautious" in its approach to opening up foreign travel ahead of the latest loosening of restrictions in England later this month.

Travel abroad for holidays is currently banned and the Prime Minister said the government would have to be "very tough" to stop new coronavirus variants from getting into the country, which has had nearly 130,000 COVID-related deaths.

"I do think it's important to be cautious in this, we do want to do some opening up on May 17, but I don't think the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else," Mr Johnson told reporters.

More details on the loosening of travel restrictions are expected to be announced later this week.

In February Mr Johnson announced a roadmap which would see all of England's restrictions lifted by June 21, including a one-metre social distancing rule, but he could not say for certain it would be when quizzed about it.

"I think we've got a good chance, a good chance, of being able to dispense with one-metre plus," he said.

The UK has administered more than 50 million doses of vaccine in its ambitious rollout, while just one COVID-19 death was recorded on Monday.

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2021-05-03 18:03:04Z
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