American tourists who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed visit the EU this summer, according to Ursula von der Leyen. In an interview published by the New York Times on Sunday, April 26, the EU Commission boss said that Americans who had been given full doses of a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) would be entitled to free movement within the EU.
“Because one thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by EMA,” Ms von der Leyen was quoted as saying by the paper.
Although she did not give specific details of when travel might open up or how the process might be enacted, this is the most promising statement on a possible resumption of travel between the United States and the EU., which has suffered the loss of tourist income from international travellers outside the bloc.
Travel from the US to the EU is currently restricted in both directions. The United States is on Ireland’s ‘red list,’ which means that all incoming passengers must undergo 12-day mandatory hotel quarantine.
The scheduled introduction of a digital green certificate this summer is designed to allow for greater travel; the New York Times outlined that high-level talks had been ongoing between the United States and EU “for several weeks” on how to standardise vaccine certificates so that they’re accepted on both sides of the Atlantic, allowing citizens to travel without restrictions.
However, the New York Times also mentioned that while the EU may lift restrictions on general travel for vaccinated tourists, each member state “may reserve the right to keep stricter limits. They might not permit citizens from outside the bloc to visit or might enforce restrictions like quarantines, even on visitors who have vaccination certificates.”
So, while Americans might be able to take selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower at some point this summer, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be able to ride a jaunting car in Killarney National Park or kiss the Blarney Stone.
(Photo by Fran Boloni on Unsplash)