Clarifying its stance on vaccines, the EU has announced that it allows entry permission to all those vaccinated against COVID-19 with World Health Organization (WHO)-approved inoculations.
To speed up vaccine rollouts, many low and middle-income countries have procured vaccines through COVAX initiatives. For Malaysians, this includes AstraZeneca vaccines not manufactured in the EU, but in South Korea, Thailand, and Japan.
However, earlier announcements led to much confusion, especially for Malaysians who’ve been jabbed with AstraZeneca vaccines, fuelling vaccine hesitance. It was initially believed that the EU only allows for certain vaccines to enter Europe.
Furthermore, the European Union Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) was falsely perceived as a prerequisite for travelling within Europe. It turns out that the EUDCC is merely a “practical tool” and not a compulsory document, as clarified in the delegation. It also clarifies that member states of EU are free to accept other vaccine documentations that show proof of an individual’s identification, vaccine type, and date of vaccine administration.
In other news, as the world opens up, there are reports the first imported COVID-19 case in Phuket. This comes mere days after the island’s reopening, and the UAE national was one of the 2,113 visitors who’d arrived under the Phuket Sandbox scheme. Passengers who shared a vessel with him have been isolated, and will only be allowed to travel freely in Thailand once they’ve completed a 14-day quarantine and are tested negative.