Lawmakers in the EU have confirmed that Europe is set to open its borders to vaccinated travellers, as well as travellers from countries that have been deemed as COVID-safe.
Reports have said that ambassadors representing countries within the European bloc have agreed to ease travel restrictions for non-EU travellers ahead of Europe’s summer season.
The proposal was put forward in a recent assembly of 27 European countries a few weeks ago, with lawmakers now expected to be working on the list of countries that the EU deems as safe to receive tourists from.
This decision is expected to come from Europe’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Spokesperson from the European Commission, Christian Wigand has said that the EU’s lawmakers will “now recommend that member states ease some of the current restrictions,” adding that “the council should also soon expand the list of non-EU countries with a good epidemiological situation from where travel is permitted.”
A report from Reuters states that “Britain and a number of other countries would meet the new criteria,” while “the United States would not, although Americans with proof of vaccination would be welcomed.”
Europe Set To Open Borders to Vaccinated Travellers & COVID-Safe Countries
“Under current restrictions, people from only seven countries, including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel and Singapore, can enter the EU on holiday, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated,” that report states.
Lawmakers in the European Union have pointed out that in order to open borders to vaccinated travellers, health experts will need to track the spread of the Indian COVID-19 variant.
Part of their criteria for accepting travellers from certain countries is that their country of origin has had no more than 25 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents in the previous fortnight.
Lawmakers are also expected to demand a certain proportion of testing of the population, to ensure that the numbers are accurate, and that travellers receive an EU-approved vaccine.
In order to travel, tourists must have received their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least a fortnight before they plan on travelling to Europe, where quarantine requirements could either be waived or reduced for non-EU travellers.
Portugal is an exception to this rule, though, having re-opened its borders to British travellers earlier this week.
The move has been praised by the US Travel Association, with CEO Roger Dow commenting that “the US has been a leader in many aspects of managing the pandemic but is behind our global competitors in pursuing an international economic reopening.”
“The millions of travel-related US jobs that were lost to the pandemic won’t come back on the strength of domestic travel alone, so identifying the path to restarting international visitation is essential to an overall economic recovery.”