Have your clients dust off their passports! Leisure travel to Europe is closer to reality after the EU’s recent decision to relax some of the regulations regarding tourism travel for visitors from outside the EU, and ambassadors have agreed to allow fully vaccinated visitors in.
Changes were also made to the criteria for nations to be considered a “safe country,” from which incoming tourists can travel. At this time though, it is still unclear when the welcome mat will be fully rolled out.
The strict measures imposed last year to contain COVID-19 outbreaks have been eased. Now, the European Commission has said entry should be granted to all those fully vaccinated with EU-authorized vaccinations. These immunizations are those produced by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Though it has been recommended that certain restrictions should been eased, some EU countries have not formally approved this measure yet.
An updated list of countries that meet the new vaccination criteria is expected soon, and many experts expect the United States to make the next cut. Until now, the list of countries from which travel is permitted includes seven nations: Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China. There is also an “emergency brake” plan which will stop dangerous virus variants from entering the EU which can be quickly enacted if infection rates rise in a non-EU country. There is also the possibility that new entry measures will also include PCR tests or quarantines.
These new measures are expected to prop up the EU’s tourism industry and help recover some income over the peak summer season. Greece has already lifted quarantine restrictions for the U.S., Britain, Israel, and other non-EU countries as negotiations between governments and EU lawmakers to introduce COVID-19 certificates aimed at facilitating travel across the region this summer continue. Greece has reopened to international tourists and no quarantine is required for vaccinated Americans
Cheers and have a safe trip!