European Union ambassadors announced Wednesday it would open non-essential travel to fully vaccinated visitors.
According to The Associated Press, EU officials approved the ruling that tourists from outside the bloc who have been fully vaccinated should be allowed in and restrictions on which countries are considered safe would be eased.
“The European Union’s risk-based, science-driven plan to reopen international travel will hopefully spur the U.S. to heed the many calls for a plan and timetable to safely reopen our borders,” U.S. Travel Association President Roger Dow said.
“The right conditions are in place: vaccinations are increasing, infections are decreasing, all inbound visitors get tested or have to prove they’ve recovered, and it’s possible to determine vaccine status,” Dow continued.
EU Commission spokesman Christian Wigand told The AP the European Council “will now recommend that member states ease some of the current restrictions” for those who have been vaccinated.
Wigand couldn’t provide a date for the eventual reopening since the measure still needs to gain full approval, but the deal must be struck soon to ensure enough time to put a system in place before the busy summer travel period.
“The council should also soon expand the list of non-EU countries with a good epidemiological situation from where travel is permitted,” Wigand said.
The European Commission ruled earlier in May that entry should be granted to all those fully vaccinated with EU-authorized shots, but also revealed an “emergency brake” mechanism to shut down the possible spread of COVID-19 variants.
“Today’s news is thrilling,” Scott’s Cheap Flights founder Scott Keyes said. “We’ve heard from thousands of members over the past few months who were anxiously awaiting word on whether they’d be able to take that bucket list trip to Europe this summer.”
“Now that we know Americans will be welcomed back soon, American travelers will be able to shed those anxieties and instead focus their energy on a far more exciting activity: trip planning,” Keyes continued.