“Considering what low levels of infection some EU countries like Portugal already have now, I am very hopeful that we can afford overall what was possible last summer,” Merkel said on Saturday after an EU summit meeting.
The Chancellor stressed that the possibility of a summer vacation in Europe would “of course” apply to everyone regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.
“I cannot yet name the day when this will be the case,” she said.
The veteran German leader said that “in Germany, we also seem to have broken the third wave.”
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As the level of infection falls, she said, restrictions in Germany will be lifted. “Hopefully that will be the case for the whole of Europe.”
Due to the fact that almost all EU countries had incidence levels below 50 per 100,000 inhabitants for much of last summer there was very little restriction imposed on travel inside the bloc.
“That’s why I keep saying, ‘down with the incidences’ – that creates freedom for everyone. And then we have the two helpers vaccinations and testing on top of that. That should make us better off,” Merkel said.
The Chancellor added that the EU leaders discussed digital vaccination certificates – the so-called “green certificate.”
She said that, while the technical requirements, such as compatibility, are in place, there are still outstanding issues to be clarified regarding mutual recognition of vaccines that are not licensed in the EU.