Politics in the European Union can be complicated and decisions can take considerable time, even good ones, like safely reopening travel.
Potentially “good news” for travel emerged last week when the European Commission recommended that the bloc of 27 countries open up to vaccinated travelers, and a list of “safe countries”, but ultimately it was up to ambassadors from 27 member states to back the proposal, or not. Now, they have.
EU Accepts Proposal To Reopen Travel
As of Wednesday, May 19th, that proposal to reopen tourism has been accepted and agreed in consensus by the EU member states, and a full list of countries and entry protocols is expected by Friday!
In short, if you’re fully vaccinated with an EU approved vaccine, you should be able to visit without restriction in the imminent future.
Vaccines approved and endorsed by the EU for proof include the: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines. A traveler is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the date of their final shot.
There’s also been recent clarification as to what will “count” as proof. It’s expected that restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers, or those coming from “safe” countries could drop as early as next week, according to the NYT.
This exciting development turns the spotlight focus squarely onto the United States, which still has bans in place for most travelers coming from the European Union or the United Kingdom. It had been expected that these measures would be dropped in mid June, but with Europe moving swiftly, the US could follow suit in a more timely fashion and welcome both Brits and Europeans once again.
Even with the welcome mat being rolled out, a bizarre ‘traffic light” system in place in the UK makes outbound travel to Europe virtually untenable, even for fully vaccinated travelers, with high testing costs and lengthy quarantine upon return for most foreign destinations, other than Iceland or Portugal. The list is subject to change.
If travel to Europe has been the dream for summer or autumn 2021, it appears that vaccinated travelers and those coming from soon to be announced “safe” countries will shortly have their chance.