Vaccinated passengers and those who have recovered from COVID within the past six months should be allowed to travel without restrictions this summer, according to Europe’s biggest airlines.
They said other passengers should be allowed to skip quarantine if they test negative and children under six should be exempt from all measures.
Calling on EU governments to gradually lift travel restrictions for their citizens from the end of this month, Airlines for Europe (A4E) Chair and easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said: “Tests and certificates cannot be the new norm in travel.”
“The science is clear that unrestricted, safe travel is possible for many intra-European flights already – and this will only increase as the vaccine rolls out further,” he said.
A4E said 70% of people in the EU will have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine by the end of June, by which time a quarter will be fully vaccinated.
“We believe now is the time for Europe to safely start to fully reopen,” added Mr Lundgren.
“This will enable a quicker recovery not only for the aviation sector, but for Europe’s wider economy and it will be for the benefit of European citizens who long to visit family and friends or get away on a long-awaited holiday.”
A4E is calling for EU countries to adopt a uniform approach to easing travel restrictions, which will help to end confusion among travellers.
It wants them to accept either a negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival, or 48 hours in the case of rapid antigen tests, and to end the requirement for testing from non-risk areas and vaccinated or recently-recovered arrivals.
It say minors accompanying parents who aren’t required to test or quarantine should also be exempt.
Vaccination, recovery from COVID or a negative test must be proven by producing a Digital Covid Certificate or by other means until the DCC is available. It is expected to be in place in the majority of EU countries by 1 July.
The UK has adapted the NHS app to display vaccinations, but it does not yet have the ability to show COVID test or antibody test results.