E.U. to Allow Vaccinated Americans to Visit This Summer

Brussels, Belgium
Brussels, Belgium // Photo by tunart/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Great news for travel this summer: Fully vaccinated Americans will be able to visit the European Union, according to the head of the European Commission as reported by The New York Times. No official reopening date has been set yet, however.

According to The Times, some of the reasons for the E.U. reopening to the United States includes the fast pace of (European Medicines Agency-approved) vaccinations and the potential implementation of a vaccine certificate—something the European Travel Commission has been pushing for some time, as reported by our sister publication Travel Agent. A temporary solution could include a “low-tech” E.U. vaccine certificate-equivalent when the traveler arrives in Europe and shows proof of a vaccine certificate provided by the U.S. government. Then, over time, foreign-issued certificates would become acceptable in Europe (and vice versa).

Also according to The Times, about 140 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including about 94.8 million people who have been fully vaccinated—that’s 42 and 29 percent of the total population, respectively. In addition, the U.S. is averaging 58,353 average new daily cases of the last two weeks, which is a 16 percent decrease from the previous similar period.

Virtual Event

Pivoting Back to Travel, The Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Edition

2020 put the nuptial plans of thousands upon thousands of couples on hold, but with the promise of widespread vaccine distribution in the near future, it’s time to get back to planning and ensure your clients live out the destination weddings & honeymoons of their dreams. Hear from top suppliers and destinations on wedding venue & ceremony options, romantic destinations & resorts and more when you watch the event on-demand.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said via The Times that “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.” These vaccinations include those by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson.

Responding to the news, American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) president and CEO Zane Kerby said: “We are gratified that the E.U. has recognized the economic importance of a viable international travel system. Allowing Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to visit Europe this the summer is welcome news at a time when Americans are planning overseas trips with their travel advisors. 
“As welcome as this announcement is, fulfilling its potential requires action on the part of the U.S. government. Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19, logic dictates that the rule requiring Americans returning from overseas to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding their return flight be revised to exempt those returning from the E.U. Doing so will help the travel industry make the most of this development while protecting public health and reducing the risk of Americans stranded overseas at their own expense.
“We call on the CDC to modify its international air testing rule, and to continue work on systems to establish vaccination, immunity or a negative test result so that international travel can safely return to pre-pandemic levels.”

This news follows on the heels of Iceland and Greece’s reopenings, along with announcements from France and the U.K. for phased reopenings to international visitors this year. According to The Times, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Croatia “are set to jump on the opportunity to reopen” to Americans.

This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.

Related Articles

Boutique DMC Crafted Ireland Launches Members-Only Ardú Luxury

onefinestay Debuts New Collection of Luxury Villas in Greece

Renovations and Restorations for The Dorchester Collection

Norway: The Old Country and a New Outlook

Suggested Articles:

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong has announced the completion of the first phase of its top-to-bottom renovation. Read more here.

Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection will be a nature-inspired luxury retreat in the Hudson Valley. It’s slated to open in fall 2022.

Shangri-La Group will develop a luxury hotel just north of the Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Kyoto. Learn more here.