Full Covid vaccination or negative PCR test required for EU travel: Dutch Health Minister
People who are not considered fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will likely need to continue to show a negative PCR test for the coronavirus infection if they want to travel freely throughout the European Union, said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge on Wednesday. The Dutch government will provide the free tests for residents who want to enjoy a holiday abroad, according to newswire ANP.
De Jonge previously said that "fully vaccinated" includes people who have had one shot of the Janssen vaccine, and possibly anybody who received one shot of any vaccine after a recent coronavirus infection. All others require two shots of either the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine, currently the only other vaccines approved for use in the European Union.
EU leaders are unlikely to allow freedom of movement across borders for those who are partially vaccinated. De Jonge said he was one of several EU health ministers calling for the more relaxed policy. "Most colleagues view things differently," he said.
He said "it seems logical" to provide a free PCR test to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection status, since not everyone has had the opportunity to receive their vaccinations. A certificate of a negative test will serve as a traveler's alternative to proof of being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.
The European decision to open borders to EU residents could be a disappointment for people in Hungary. A million people there were given the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia or the Sinopharm vaccine from China, products which have not been fully evaluated by the European Medicines Agency and are not approved for use in the full EU market. As such, they could be prevented from entering other EU countries without also providing a negative PCR test.
The Netherlands lifted its global negative travel advice two weeks ago, and went back to a system of evaluating coronavirus risk by region and country.