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Germany will only allow quarantine-free entry to people who have been inoculated with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), German health minister Jens Spahn announced. This could be an issue for Hungary, where the non-EMA approved Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines have been in use since February. Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás said that Germany’s approach contradicts its previous statements, and that many Germans are actually travelling to Moscow to be vaccinated with Sputnik V.

Jens Spahn said that quarantine will only be exempt for those who have been inoculated with vaccines approved by the European Union. Every other vaccine type needs to be tested and approved in the same way that Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca were.

I have no problem with us ranking them as equals, but I would like to see the proof.”

While this decision might change in the future, it is surprising considering that Germany has been actively working to get European approval for the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. In February, Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Germany’s Paul Ehrlich Institute to help with the Russian vaccine’s authorization in the European Union.

It might also be an issue for the many people in Hungary who have been vaccinated with Sinopharm or Sputnik V, especially since the European Parliament’s approach to the European green certificate is similar to Germany’s approach. Hopefully the two vaccines receive EU approval soon.

EP Decides Not to Recognize Non-EMA Vaccines for "Vaccine Passport"
EP Decides Not to Recognize Non-EMA Vaccines for

In reaction to the decision, Hungary has decided to open up opportunities for bilateral travel agreements with other nations in order to bypass the requirement, which will take a while to come into EU law.Continue reading

In the government’s most recent press conference, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás said that this statement differs from what the German chancellor had previously said, and has been motivated by Germany’s upcoming election campaign. According to Gulyás, Germany has ordered 25 million vaccines which will only be useable upon approval from EMA.

In Germany many people are calling for its authorization, many Germans are travelling to Moscow for inoculation, in order to get the Sputnik V vaccine, which offers the greatest protection.

We will see what the German stance will be, the minister said, adding that “we hope that, if necessary, we reach an agreement which ensures the freedom of tourism between our two countries.”

Featured photo illustration by Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI