The European Union has announced that travel restrictions will be lifted—with some caveats—for tourists who want to come to visit. Though the exact date of the policy change was not yet reported, the announcement on May 19 appears an encouragement to people, including Americans, who want to go to Europe in the summer of 2021.
According to the Washington Post, spokesperson Christian Wigand did not report a date when the change would take effect. “A formal final approval is still necessary, but the measure’s passage is not in doubt,” the article confirmed. “Travelers would need to have vaccines approved for use within the European Union—meaning that all the vaccines currently available in the United States would be greenlighted, but vaccines currently manufactured in Russia and China would not be.”
Reuters reported that “ambassadors from the 27 E.U. countries approved a European Commission proposal from May 3 to loosen the criteria to determine ‘safe’ countries and to let in fully vaccinated tourists from elsewhere.” The list should be forthcoming by late May, with the United Kingdom among nations meeting the criteria from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
While that article cautioned that the United States would not yet meet the criteria presented, vaccinated Americans could still go to Europe.
Only seven nations—Australia, China, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand—are on the current list.
As USA Today noted, “The E.U. imposed strict measures last year to contain COVID-19 outbreaks, but the bloc’s 27 ambassadors now say many of those restrictions on non-essential travel should be eased. Specifically, tourists from outside the bloc who have been fully vaccinated should be allowed in.”
The move is seen as a way to boost the E.U.’s tourism industry, which has taken an obvious hit during the pandemic and is looking to make some gains in the coming months—with summer typically a peak time for travel to Europe.
Fox News added that under the guidelines that are now poised to be changed, countries that have a COVID infection rate of lower than 25 per 100,000 would be granted entry into Europe.