EU recommends lifting travel restrictions for US residents
June 21, 2021
The Council of the European Union has added the USA to its list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted.
Twelve other countries, including Australia, Japan and South Korea, are on the list disclosed by the EU on 18 June. China will be added to the list "subject to confirmation of reciprocity". "Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 18 June 2021 member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the countries that have been added to the list," the EU states. It is up to individual EU member states to implement the Council's recommendation, which is not a legally binding instrument. Portugal's government on 15 June eased restrictions for travellers arriving from the USA, enabling them to bypass a quarantine period if they have proof of a negative test for Covid-19. France on 9 June began permitting US travellers to bypass quarantine requirements if they could provide proof that they are fully vaccinated with a European Medicines Agency-approved vaccine and can present negative results of a Covid-19 test.

EU guidance exempts vaccinated passengers from tests/quarantine
June 18, 2021
Passengers travelling to EU countries who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 should not be subject to testing or quarantine measures, according to updated guidelines issued today by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In a new version of the Aviation Health Safety Protocol, EASA and the ECDC propose that people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 180 days should be exempt from testing and self-isolation, unless they are travelling from an area of very high risk or from a country in which a "variant of concern" is circulating. In these circumstances, the requirement for a negative test should be considered, say the new guidelines, although this could take the form of either a rapid antigen test taken up to 48h before arrival or a PCR test taken up to 72h prior to travel. "We have reached a significant milestone in the pandemic: a real change in approach that can allow travellers to fly again without worrying excessively that the rules may change at short notice, complicating their journey or making it impossible," says EASA executive director Patrick Ky. "Thanks to the expert epidemiological input from ECDC we are confident that this protocol offers practical and pragmatic guidelines for health-safe travel." While the recommendations are non-binding for EU member states, EASA says it is hoped that countries across Europe will adopt the recommendations "to ensure harmonisation and the safe recovery of the air transport and tourism sector". Aviation industry groups have welcomed the move and are calling on EU member states to adopt the updated guidance. In a joint statement, six organisations including IATA, Airlines for Europe and the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), say: "Following successful vaccination programmes across Europe and an improved epidemiological outlook, these updated guidelines are very timely and will help to ensure a smooth and safe passenger journey. We are counting on EU member states to now play their part and update the existing measures accordingly, so that passengers know what to expect. This is crucially important for restoring passenger confidence and to help our sector’s recovery."

​European jet fuel prices surge on stronger crude
June 18, 2021
The price of jet fuel is pushing sharply higher in Europe on the back of firmer crude demand from the global economic recovery. On 15 June jet kerosene for delivery to Northwest Europe was assessed by commodity intelligence provider ICIS – at $614.50-$615.50/tonne, an increase of $17/t on the week and up from $585-586/t four weeks earlier. "Prices in the European spot jet kerosene market have continued [on an] upwards trajectory as demand-side fundamentals appear to be improving backed by gradually recovering flight operating rates ahead of the peak summer travel season," writes ICIS. Demand is being driven by carriers seeking to settle contracts for the second half of 2021, although high inventory levels could limit price increases over the coming weeks. Some refineries are also looking to make large increases in their production levels, which could hold down prices. Crude futures are rising on optimism for strong demand, as European and North American pandemic-related restrictions continue to lift, although the spread of the coronavirus's delta variant has capped some gains. Slightly different market dynamics were playing out in the US, with jet kerosene prices for delivery to New York harbour actually declining in the week to 15 June on the back of ample local supply levels. ICIS assessed jet kerosene for delivery to New York harbour at 185.50-185.75 US cents per US gallon on 15 June, a fall of 4.75 on the week and down from 187.50-187.75 four weeks ago. In Asia, there were mild rises in the price of jet kerosene, increasing by $2.51/barrel to $76.12-76.53/bbl in the week to 15 June, against $73.61-74.01/bbl four weeks earlier. ICIS comments this is because of firmer crude values, although a weak recovery in Asian airline traffic is constraining demand, with the spread of new Covid-19 variants limiting travel.


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