Travel pass

Europe Week: Israeli-Palestinian conflict and COVID travel pass

The eleven-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants – who agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday – made headlines this week in Brussels.

The escalation of violence was at the origin of a emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers Tuesday to discuss diplomatic efforts to end the fighting.

But before the politicians met by video conference, the deputy ambassador of the Israeli mission to the EU, Walid Abu-Haya, asked the EU “To stand by Israel’s side”.

Abu-Haya said, speaking to Euronews, that Israel “needs Europe to very clearly and firmly denounce Hamas”.

Hungary all alone

The meeting of EU foreign ministers, via video, ended with a statement calling for a ceasefire and criticizing the death toll among civilians.

The statement, however, also exposed the EU’s divisions over policy towards Israel and the Palestinians.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell acknowledged that only 26 EU member states had accepted the declaration with Hungary being the only dissident not to subscribe to his words.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto later said the statements were “very one-sided”.

Europe begins to reopen

This week had good news for anyone who wants to travel this summer. Both for Europeans and for those coming from non-EU countries.

EU ambassadors on Wednesday agreed to open the bloc’s borders to travelers from non-EU countries, provided they have been fully vaccinated.

They should be vaccinated 14 days before entering the EU with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency.

This opens the door for citizens of the UK and US who have been fully vaccinated.

European citizens will also be allowed to travel more easily after the provisional agreement on the COVID ticket.

The document will be operational by July 1 and will include information on vaccination, testing and recovery from the disease.

Only vaccines approved by the EMA will be accepted, but some countries may accept others.

The tourism sector in the EU is ready for the summer. Above all airlines and airports, after the worst 14 months in history.


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