EU recommends lifting travel restrictions for Canadians

Canadians longing to return to international travel may be in luck as the European Union (EU) has now added Canada to its list of countries safe for non-essential travel to the region. 

The formal recommendation was made this week that member states gradually lift travel restrictions for Canada, in addition to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Jordan, Montenegro, Qatar, Republic of Moldova and Saudi Arabia.

It is up to the EU member states to decide whether they will begin the process of loosening restrictions for travellers from these countries and they can still impose some rules for travellers, including a testing requirement.

“The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument,” the release reads

“The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.”

Following this announcement, the European Commission has said that it is working on approval of India’s Covishield AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, currently not approved by the the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or accepted under the EU’s new vaccine passport system. 

As Europe rolls out its Digital COVID Certificate, questions are being raised about whether the 270,000 Canadians who received the Covishield AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will in fact be able to travel to European countries.

The Canadian government has said that it is working on a digital proof of vaccination system for Canadian travellers, with a fall timeline, while allowing travellers to use the ArriveCAN app to upload a picture of their proof of vaccination for summer travel.

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