EU Plans to Loosen Travel Restrictions
With the summer tourist season quickly approaching, the European Union announced their plans to loosen up on Covid-19 travel restrictions last Wednesday. The 27 EU countries will be open to non-Europeans from countries that are deemed safe. But don’t start packing your vacation bags just yet. So far, the United States isn’t on the “safe” list; however, if you meet certain criteria, there’s a chance that your trip to Paris might still happen after all.
Currently only seven countries are allowed in, including Argentina, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand, regardless of travelers’ vaccination status.
How can Americans enter Europe?
First off, keep in mind that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still don’t suggest non-essential travel, despite their newly updated claim that fully vaccinated Americans can now travel with low risk.
The EU will create a system for travelers from the US and other countries to provide proof of vaccination from vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency. These include vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. The easing of restrictions means that fully vaccinated travelers no longer have to quarantine or get tested for the virus upon arrival. In addition, unvaccinated children are permitted to accompany their vaccinated parents as long as they have tested negative for the virus.
However, the CDC requires all travelers returning to the US to supply a negative coronavirus test or proof of recovery from Covid-19.
What are the 27 EU countries?
The 27 EU countries include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Europe and tourism
Europe’s economy largely depends on the earnings made from tourism, which is why they are eager to open back up.
“International trips to the region dropped by 70 percent in 2020.”
Greece has already welcomed foreigners from the US and beyond, hoping the influx of tourists will revive its economy. Visitors are not required to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated or have a negative coronavirus test.
According to Christian Wigand, a European Commission spokesperson, an emergency brake can be activated to quickly and temporarily stop travel from countries with causes of concern. Plans can change at any time, so travelers should make sure that their hotels and activities are okay with cancellations at a moment’s notice.
The new travel guidelines will be officially approved by the end of the month to ensure that the system is ready to go by the end of June.