EU leaders to discuss coordinated approach to Omicron variant

EU leaders to discuss coordinated approach to Omicron variant
EU Digital Covid Certificate. Credit: European Commission

The Heads of State or Government of the European Union are expected to hold a meeting over video conference in the coming days to coordinate their response to the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

So far, at least 35 cases of the highly infectious Omicron variant have been identified in the EU, and European Council President Charles Michel is reportedly preparing a video meeting with the leaders of the different Member States to coordinate the approach at the highest level, reports the Belga News Agency.

The spread of the variant is leading more and more Member States to consider imposing additional travel restrictions, with Portugal reportedly planning to require a negative test for vaccinated travellers, even if they are coming from other Member States.

“We have received a notification of new travel measures that Portugal plans to introduce from 1 December,” a Commission spokesperson stated on Monday. “We are going to analyse the information carefully.”

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In principle, Member States should refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions on people who hold a Digital Covid Certificate, the spokesperson added.

However, if they do wish to do so, they would have to inform the Commission and the other Member States 48 hours in advance.

“It remains important that Member States maintain a coordinated approach to ensure safe and secure travel in the EU,” the spokesperson added.

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