Vaccinated American Tourists Will Be Able to Visit the EU This Summer

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Annie Goldsmith
·2 min read
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Photo credit: ANDREA PATTARO - Getty Images
Photo credit: ANDREA PATTARO - Getty Images

Vaccinated Americans can start packing their bags for a European summer. Over a year after shutting down nonessential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union announced that American tourists who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to visit this summer.

"The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines. This will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union," Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, told the New York Times. "Because 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."

All vaccines currently in use in America—Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson—have been approved by the E.M.A. While von der Leyen did not mention an exact timeline, this announcement would restore European leisure travel to the vaccinated American public, and allow movement throughout the region.

The European Union is currently in talks with United States authorities about vaccine certificates—documents serving as international proof of vaccination. This strategy is already at play in Israel, where Israelis with a "Green Pass" can go to bars, restaurants, concerts, and sporting events.

According to the Times, "technical discussions have been going on for several weeks between European Union and United States officials on how to practically and technologically make vaccine certificates from each place broadly readable."

The paper notes that there may be a temporary low-tech solution in order to allow leisure travel this summer, as a more permanent vaccine passport system is implemented.

Regardless of vaccination passport logistics, von der Leyen noted that the United States was “on track” and making “huge progress” with its campaign to reach so-called herd immunity, or the vaccination of 70 percent of adults, by mid-June.

She added that resumption of tourism, in the end, would depend “on the epidemiological situation, but the situation is improving in the United States, as it is, hopefully, also improving in the European Union.”

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