The members of the European Union agreed yesterday to allow vaccinated tourists to enter the EU bloc without needing to have a negative test or to be quarantined. However, there are still some unknown factors right now.
Europe to Open to Vaccinated Tourists
In the next few days, we will have a list of the approved countries for this new tourist opening by the EU. But, one thing for sure is that the US is on the list which means American tourists can travel to EU countries.
Which Tourists Can Travel to Europe?
Under the framework agreed to by member nations, travelers from approved countries (which has virus count requirements per 100,000 people like 75 per 100,000) can enter EU bloc countries but they must have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This means that any shots that require two doses will need both before they can travel to Europe. Those who have received Johnson & Johnson need only one so they are all set to go after that one.
Having a vaccination card will open up the doors of Europe without needing to be tested or quarantined, under the recommendation from yesterday.. As of right now, Americans are not allowed to enter the EU as tourists though many countries have already opened to Americans.
But, it is important to note that the European Commission simply makes recommendations to member countries as those countries can still decide what they want to do with their borders, as Greece has by opening up to Americans as of May 14. Also, member countries could decided to still test on arrival or to require quarantines even for vaccinated tourists so there are still some things to be known.
All the vaccines used in the US will be accepted in the EU, absent from the approved list is the Russian vaccine (that Greece has already accepted for visitors).
When Will This Happen and How?
There are some things still up in the air like what about those who are not vaccinated but take negative tests. One example is children. The good news is that it is expected that negative test use will be recommended as well but only from the approved list of countries.
This could happen as soon as next week or early June but my guess is that it will be somewhat of a soft opening by a few countries and only to vaccinated travelers until the European Digital Green pass is in full effect. Many nations will start using this next month to allow users to travel freely through Europe.
That Digital Green certificate would not only accept the submission of vaccination certificates but also negative tests so by early July, it could be that any people from the US would be welcome when using this pass, as long as the required information is submitted.
This may be a little late to see any meaningful uptick in tourism in Europe for June. Greece had been announcing for a while that they would open the doors to tourists and June is still looking like a very quiet month, based on hotel bookings and airline loads.
I think we will not see people really booking travel to European nations until next month with most of the travel happening late July and August. Those who do not mind being possibly limited in what can be done still may want to jump in as soon as rules are established as this would mean that Europe will look like a summer that tourists have not seen in years due to the overall lack of tourists.