Tag Archives: voyage

Additional holiday travel restrictions

Brussels 25.12.2021 Anna van Densky The Omicron variant is “in the process of becoming or has already become dominant in several countries, including Denmark, Portugal and the United Kingdom” according to the World Health Organisation, which is supposed to lead to an increase in the number of patients in need of hospiatlisation.

Sweden announced a restriction of the conditions of entry into its territory for travellers from other countries of the European Union, who will have from December 28 to present a negative Covid-19 test, even if they are vaccinated. However, children under 12 and travellers of Swedish nationality or residing in Sweden are not obliged to comply with this rule.

Seven other EU member states – Portugal, Ireland, Cyprus, Latvia, Italy, Greece and Austria – already require a negative test, even for those vaccinated from the EU, and Finland announced on Tuesday evening that she was going to do the same.

Thousands of travellers have cancelled their Christmas travel plans due to the spread of the Omicron virus worldwide, and in particular, forced by the travel restrictions imposed by the governments in a bid to halt the spread of the new COVID-19 virus variant.

Just in days before Christmas, Europe has been stepping up restrictions to cope with in upcoming surge of the Omicron variant. A variant “in the process of becoming or already become dominant in several countries, including Denmark, Portugal and the United Kingdom”, according to the WHO, and whose very high contagiousness could have serious consequences on the collective level – the outbreak of contaminations automatically leading to an increase in the number of hospitalised patients.

Travel within the European Union: the validity of the vaccination certificate limited to nine months. The validity of a European Covid digital certificate, when it concerns the vaccination of its holder for intra-EU travel, has been limited to nine months (270 days), the European Commission confirmed on Tuesday December 21, while vaccination campaigns are continuing in the EU for the booster dose.

This provision aims to harmonise the various rules in force in the Member States. The validity period adopted takes into account the guidelines of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), according to which booster doses are recommended no later than six months after the end of the first cycle of vaccination. The certificate will remain valid for a grace period of three additional months, in order to allow the adaptation of national vaccination campaigns and citizens’ access to booster doses.

Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders defended this harmonisation, while several countries already require a PCR test when entering their territory, even for an intra-EU traveller who has already been vaccinated.

“Unilateral action in member states would bring us back to the fragmentation and uncertainties we experienced last spring. The nine-month acceptance period for vaccination certificates will give citizens and businesses the certainty they need to plan their trips with confidence. It is now up to the member states to ensure that the reminders are deployed quickly to protect our health and ensure the safety of travel “, commented the Belgian commissioner, quoted in a statement.

Omicron: France restricts travel

Brussels 02.12.2021 France has announced new rules for all travellers – vaccinated or not – arriving in France from non-EU countries in the face of the new variant of Covid-19 named Omicron.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal, speaking after the weekly meeting of the government’s Defence Council on Wednesday, on December 1, announced the implementation of new rules aimed at controlling the spread of the newly-detected Omicron variant.

A government Decree published on Thursday, December 2, provides more detail.

The new rules come into force at 00.01 AM on Saturday, December 4th, and the testing requirements apply to everyone aged 12 or older – including those who have French citizenship or permanent residency in France.

All travellers – vaccinated or not – will require a negative Covid test in order to enter France from any country outside the EU or Schengen zone. This would include travellers from the UK, the USA and Canada.

The test must have been taken within 48 hours of departure. The decree states that only tests “that are able to detect protein N of Sars-Cov2” can be used – this covers all PCR tests but not all antigen tests. Home tests have never been accepted for travel purposes.

Selfie fatalities trend

Brussels 29.10.2021 In the age of the smartphone, avoiding taking selfies in death-defying, if spectacular, locations can now be added to the list of precautions for tourists.

A study by the Spanish iO Foundation, focused on tropical diseases, has revealed that between January 2008 and July 2021 at least 379 people – one out of every fortnight on average – have lost life while taking selfie. It is a growing trend, which after a brief pause due to the pandemic has resurfaced during the first seven months of this year, producing 31 fatal accidents – one per week – despite the raft of travel restrictions still in place worldwide.

“It is a growing problem that, because of the dimensions it has taken on, can now be considered a public health issue. The study has helped us to put it into context and that is the first step toward taking preventive action,” says Manuel Linares Rufo, president of the iO Foundation and lead researcher on the report. Tourists accounted for 141 deaths during the period under investigation, compared with 238 fatalities among local residents.

This shows that the tendency to take risks is much higher among the travellers, taking into account that only a tiny fraction of the world’s population is going on vacation.

The countries where the highest number of reported fatalities are India (100), the United States (39) and Russia (33), which head a list of more than 50 nations. Spain, with 15 deaths, is sixth alongside Australia. The researchers of the report, which will be published shortly in the Journal of Travel Medicine, have also compiled data on the 10 most lethal places on Earth for selfie hunters, although this has not been included in the final text.

These are, without being ordered in terms of the number of fatalities: Niagara Falls (USA/Canada), Glen Canyon (USA), Charco del Burro (Colombia), Penha Beach (Brazil), Mlango Falls (Kenya), the Ural Mountains (Russia), the Taj Mahal and Doodhpathri Valley (India), the island of Nusa Lembongan (Indonesia) and the Langkawi archipelago (Malaysia).