Are you thinking of traveling this summer? Well, you can expand the locals you can consider exploring! While the coronavirus shut borders for some time, Europe hopes to accept American tourists this summer! Read on to see what you will need to visit your favorite European countries as soon as possible…
Europe Will Soon Accept Tourists
More than a year has passed since almost all Americans could not visit their favorite European destinations. However, many countries hope to change this very soon. In the wake of the rapid vaccination of Americans, the European Union will allow most with completed vaccines to once again visit its countries. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, recently approved a plan to do so, one that’s been in talks for almost a month. It will revolve around so-called “vaccine passports,” with the E.U. says will “enable free movement and the travel to the European Union.”
This will not go for all countries, though. Only those that use the three E.U. approved vaccines: Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson. “The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines,” Von der Leyen said. “This will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union. Because one thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A.”
For now, there’s no hard date the new rules will go in place, although the E.U. assures people it’s working on one. And herd immunity will also play a part…
Vaccinated Visitors Are Welcome
Von der Leyen stated that the new method would depend on vaccination rates, countries’ herd immunity levels, and “the epidemiological situation. But the situation is improving in the United States, as it is, hopefully, also improving in the European Union.” While there is still lots of work to do in terms of ramping tourism back up, Von der Leyen feels confident they can have it all figured out in time for the summer. Many around the United States certainly hope so!
Currently, most of the discussions in the E.U. center around the practical use of vaccine passports. There are many questions as to how to make them easily readable across all the E.U. nations, while also remaining safe enough to use. After all, these days, personal data is almost more valuable than financial data! Currently, Brussels officials are working on creating a virtual vaccine passport that is as safe as a standard travel passport. Until that time, American travelers can not enter the E.U. It has only allowed citizens from a few countries, namely Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, to enter.
Those that want to book their summer travel plans immediately might have to look to other countries, like Greece. However, as always, make sure also to check the State Department website to ensure that your desired destination is safe before traveling. And have fun!