How ETIAS can help public health
New Health Checks
ETIAS was created to allow for non-EU citizens to bring contagious diseases to Europe. Candidates were required to declare whether they have (or had) any of the following:
- Hepatitis A & B
These are just a few of many contagious or serious diseases that must now be reported to ETIAS. ETIAS can be considered a practical method to reduce the spread of serious diseases throughout Europe. However, applicants will need details about past experiences with transmittable or parasitic diseases.
Covid-19 was a game-changer
Covid-19 first became known in the second half of 2019. It spread to Europe in the first part of 2020. These improvements are hoped to aid in the fight against other public health emergencies like coronavirus.
In order to reduce cross-border threats to our health, we need to increase cooperation and speed up coordination between European health agencies. All health information submitted via ETIAS will be sent to key security and health authorities in the EU, including
- European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
- European Medicines Agency (EMA).
- FRONTEX is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
It is hoped the European health agencies work together to build a framework for security and health that will allow for better preparedness and countermeasures in case of an emergency.
Stronger European Health Laws
ETIAS applicants will gather medical and health data which will be used to strengthen European legislation. These data will provide valuable information about future risks to health agencies and will be used to strengthen European laws.
To better respond to future emergencies such as that experienced by Covid-19, the EU is considering changing existing laws regarding healthcare.
An integrated surveillance system that is state-of-the-art across Europe is available to combat illegal entry.
The reporting of data from EU member states has been improved and augmented. This includes information on the availability of medical staff, hospital bed, intensive care, and other specialized treatments.
Faster and better coordination of the procurement, development, and storage for vaccines and other medical supplies.
Covid-19 also stressed the importance of vigilance and highlighted the need for:
- Readyness and preparedness
- Monitoring and controlling global diseases
- European network for reference labs
- Rapid deployment specialist health task force to deal with localized outbreaks
The data available to EU health agencies will determine the exact nature of these measures. ETIAS application forms will provide a significant portion of these data.
ETIAS Health Questions
These questions are about serious contagious, transmissible and parasitic diseases that could be a threat to EU citizens’ lives. The application will be checked against the available medical databases.
Even though it may not be possible to access the medical history of foreign applicants, it is possible to verify that the applicant has provided accurate and correct information. The ETIAS will be denied if the applicant is required to receive medical attention in Europe or prescribed medication.
It could prove problematic for applicants to apply for travel insurance if they omit or lie about certain conditions. Any discrepancies in ETIAS’s medical insurance documentation and ETIAS’s application will be immediately spotted.
A Weapon Against Future Pandemics
If it had been implemented years ago, ETIAS would have greatly helped to stop the spread of Covid-19. If it had been implemented a few years ago, EU member states would have been able to identify the origin country of visitors and determine whether they were considered high-risk. Future ETIAS approval requirements could be extremely beneficial in the case of another similar situation.
ETIAS cannot guarantee someone’s health, but it can help to prevent the spread of a pandemic like Covid-19. ETIAS approval will not be granted to visitors from these areas. It would also reduce the risk of new cases in Europe and help to control the spread of the virus in already-known countries.