Rutte: Changes to EU Covid pass rules could make travel from Netherlands easier
A new set of rules for the European coronavirus pass system should put an end to the extra requirements that some European Union countries place on travelers arriving from the Netherlands, and some other EU countries, hopes Prime Minister Mark Rutte. His Belgian counterpart, Alexander de Croo, went a step further to say that it would certainly be the case. The new agreements would make the Covid-19 vaccination certificate more reliable by only remaining valid if the holder eventually gets a vaccine booster shot.
EU countries are trying to keep uniformity in their travel rules to the greatest extent possible, but Italy, Portugal and Greece have recently imposed their own additional restrictions on travelers. This includes requiring fully vaccinated travelers from within the European Union to also present a negative PCR coronavirus test result.
The leaders of the three EU countries were sympathetic towards the proposals from the rest of the Union, Rutte said after a summit in Brussels on Thursday. However, he said, they underlined that "exceptions like this are limited and that they do not last too long." The leaders, of course, "hope" that they can get be unified again as soon as possible.
De Croo was selected to fill in for Rutte at the summit while the Dutch prime minister participated in the parliamentary debate about the Cabinet formation. The Belgian primer minister said he is confident that the adjustments to the coronavirus travel certificate will lead Italy to adjust its restrictions. "It is believed that these are temporary measures for Omicron," he said.
De Croo pointed out that many countries are speeding up the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine booster shots. This will increase, “very, very quickly in the coming days,” he stated. The Belgian prime minister is counting on countries such as Italy to return to the European Union’s approach.
Reporting by ANP