The World Health Organization (WHO) has said through a statement on international travel regulations that the international travel ban should be lifted or eased since the strict measures have proven to be ineffective.
“Lift or ease international traffic bans as they do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress experienced by States Parties,” the statement of WHO reads.
According to the latter, the high number of infection cases that have been reported recently suggest that the travel restrictions have not halted the spread of the Omicron variant within the European continent.
For this reason, WHO has suggested that travel rules, including testing and quarantine requirements, be based on risk assessments and avoid placing a financial burden on international travellers, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, WHO has also urged countries not to require only proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 disease, suggesting that they should permit entry also to those who hold other certificates since there is an unequal distribution of vaccines.
“Do NOT require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for international travel as the only pathway or condition permitting international travel given limited global access and inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” WHO added.
It has been explained that while the vaccines do not eliminate the risk of transmitting the COVID-19, they continue to be effective in reducing the risk of severe disease and death.
Thus, it has been seen as of prime importance to create a global strategy that would assure the protection of high-risk populations by mainly focusing on countries that have low vaccination rates.
Even though WHO has made such a call, a large share of EU/Schengen Area countries have already announced that they will shorten the validity of vaccination passes starting from February 1. This means that they don’t plan on lifting the requirement to present a vaccination certificate anytime soon.
Moreover, despite the fact that the majority of the European Union and Schengen Area countries tightened their entry rules, the Omicron variant still got widely spread within the continent.
Previously, SchengenvVisaInfo.com reported that in spite of keeping in place strict rules, all EU/Schengen Area countries are currently dealing with highly increased Omicron infection rates.
The latest update of maps by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control shows that France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands have registered the highest infection cases over the last seven days.