Travel Europe to Open to Fully Vaccinated Travelers
What Fully Vaccinated Travelers Need to Know Before Planning a Trip
What to consider, from who you're traveling with to where you go.And while there is good reason to celebrate inoculation, health officials have warned that a vaccination is not a free pass to travel as we used to. This is largely dictated by the undetermined degree to which vaccinated people can transmit coronavirus; until everyone is inoculated against COVID-19 or it is proven that vaccination prevents transmission, vaccinated people will need to continue masking and social distancing to protect those who are unvaccinated.
Vaccinated travelers will soon be able to bypass the more than year-long ban on travel to Europe. European Union ambassadors on Wednesday agreed on measures to allow fully vaccinated visitors to enter the 27-nation bloc.
The European Council “will now recommend that member states ease some of the current restrictions” for those who have been vaccinated, EU Commission spokesman Christian Wigand told the Associated Press.
He didn’t give a precise date for when the borders will reopen, but European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have indicated that June, if not sooner, is the goal.
How to fly safely a year into the pandemic
The pandemic is still with us well into 2021, but the urge to travel is growing stronger as millions get vaccinated daily. Get the latest advice from medical experts on how to fly as safely as possible.Bottled up yearnings to visit people and places -- perhaps even some Frank Sinatra made famous -- have vaccinated folks (and a bunch who aren't) setting pandemic-era records at US airport checkpoints.
The majority of travelers from the United States and most non-European countries have been banned from entering much of Europe since March 17, 2020, when European Union leaders imposed strict travel restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Those restrictions were ultimately extended until July 1, 2020, when the European Union began welcoming back travelers from a short list of approved countries. The latest version of the list includes seven nations: Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.
The United States was never on the list. Conversely, theon travel from the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, with the exception of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
These Countries Are Open to Fully Vaccinated Travelers
But there's still a lot to consider before booking that trip.For one, vaccine distribution continues to be uneven, with poorer countries receiving and administering fewer COVID-19 vaccines than wealthier countries. And though fully vaccinated travelers are largely protected from the virus themselves, it’s still not clear the extent to which they can spread the virus to others.
The European Union also agreed Wednesday to ease the criteria for nations to get approval for entry—when nations are approved, all travelers from the country can enter Europe, including tourists, not just those who are exempted (such as EU residents) as long as they submit to whatever entry requirements European countries have in place.
“The council should also soon expand the list of non-EU countries with a good epidemiological situation from where travel is permitted,” said Wigand.
Reutersthat the EU is expected to unveil the new list this week or early next week. Based on data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), the U.K. and a number of other countries would meet the new criteria, but the United States would not—although vaccinated Americans would still be allowed into Europe, Reuters reported.
The relaxation of restrictions on travel into Europe wasby the European Commission, which said entry should be granted to all those fully vaccinated with EU-authorized shots, which are Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.
Europe Unveils Plans to Open to Vaccinated Americans
The wait is over: American travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 may soon enter the European Union, the head of the European Commission said.The European Union “will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A. (the European Medicines Agency),” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, told the NYTimes. The three vaccines that have been approved for use in the United States—Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson—have all been approved for use in Europe.
Wigand said ambassadors also agreed on an “emergency brake” system designed to stop dangerous virus variants from entering the EU. If infections spike in a non-EU country, new travel limits will be enacted.
The developments come ason COVID-tested flights on May 16 and as . Additionally, a handful of European countries who are either vaccinated or present negative COVID-19 test results, including Greece and Iceland.
Associated Press contributed reporting.
Europe Finally Lifts U.S. Travel Ban—458 Days Later .
The European Union has added the United States to its list of countries approved for entry. What does the move mean for U.S. travelers hoping to head to Europe? It’s significant in that it gives EU countries (that have not already done so) the green light to lift restrictions on U.S. travelers. Being on this list also opens up travel options for U.S. travelers who are unvaccinated and not just those who are vaccinated. On May 20, European Union leaders had already agreed on measures to allow fully vaccinated visitors to enter the 27-nation bloc.