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According to American tourists fully vaccinated against COVID-19, they will be able to visit European Union countries this summer in the New York Times.
The European Commission, which is the executive branch of the bloc, will recommend a policy change after more than a year restricting non-essential travel to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Americans, from what I can see, use vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency,” commission chairwoman Ursula von der Leyen told the newspaper during an interview Sunday.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which regulates drugs for the block, has approved Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
“This will allow free movement and travel to the European Union,” he said. “The 27 member states will unconditionally accept all those who are vaccinated with EMA-approved vaccines.”
The chronology and details have not yet been defined, the newspaper reported. Von der Leyen said the policy change will depend on the “epidemiological situation, but the situation is improving in the United States, as, hopefully, it is also improving in the European Union.” He added that the United States is “on track” to reach 70% of adult vaccinations by mid-June.
Several popular tourist destination countries in Europe, particularly Greece, have argued that travel should resume as vaccination campaigns in the US, the UK and other countries improve. U.S. and European Union officials have held discussions on ways to coordinate safe travel and show vaccination tests to allow travel across unrestricted borders.
The first step could be a low-tech solution, the newspaper reported. Tourists may be able to show vaccine tests from their country of origin and, for example, receive a European Union vaccination certificate to travel.
The European Union will soon begin issuing “digital green certificates” to Europeans to travel through the 27 countries this summer. The certificates will show if a traveler has received a COVID-19 vaccine, has recovered from the disease in recent months, or has tested negative for coronavirus in recent days.
Countries can set stricter limits, such as quarantine, according to the newspaper, even if tourists have a vaccine certificate. Countries such as Greece, Croatia, Italy, Spain and Portugal are poised to reopen US tourists when the European Union issues new guidelines.