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You Could Visit Europe This Summer, If You're Vaccinated
It’s the moment so many of us have longed for: a chance to visit Europe may be happening sooner than you think. Just days after France president, Emmanuel Macron, announced that vaccinated Americans would be able to visit this summer, the European Commission announced similar news for the entire European Union.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, says she expects that all 27 EU member states will allow travelers who’ve received COVID-19 vaccines that the European Medicines Agency has approved, this summer. That means those who have received Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioNTech doses will likely be approved.
“This will enable free movement and travel to the European Union,” von der Leyen said during an interview with The New York Times.
Von der Leyen, however, did not release any information on the timeline. It’s also important to note that EU member states are still permitted to enforce stricter rules than the bloc as a whole.
So, how will countries determine who is fully vaccinated? Europe has been discussing the use of vaccine passports or vaccine certificates.
The International Air Transport Association — a trade association that accounts for 82% of total air traffic — is currently developing an app that will allow passengers to share tests and vaccination results with governments.
Even with the positive announcement out of Europe, the Centers for disease Control is urging Americans to not travel. Health officials are warning Americans not to go Greece, Italy, Spain or even the United Kingdom, even though at least more than half of the population have already received a first vaccine dose.
While some number of EU member states are cautious about reopening to tourists, some states are planning to reopen. Greece is among others.
Greece has said it will open its borders to travelers from the US, provided they show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. Spain also said it would be ready to accept mass tourism this summer.