European Union Ambassadors will meet today to decide on allowing tourists to visit the EU this summer. Once approved, fully vaccinated travelers from outside the bloc will be allowed entry if their country meets specific targets. The proposal is expected to pass, kickstarting a recovery of the European tourism industry.
According to iNews, European Union ambassadors are all set to approve new entry rules for travelers from non-EU nations. The new requirements will see the acceptance of “vaccine passports” for travelers to prove their status and open the doors to all non-essential travel. Those not vaccinated will be able to show a negative test result or proof of prior infection.
The new requirements will see travelers from countries with a rate of incidence below 100 cases per 100,000 enter without quarantines. This means tourists from the UK, US, Israel, Canada, and dozens more will be allowed into the country as soon as the rules go into effect.
The reopening of the EU is a huge step for the bloc’s struggling tourism industry. While certain countries were already opening their borders, an EU-wide approach will help boost travel even further. Barring a few countries (with rates of incidence below 25 cases per 100,000), the EU has largely closed its border to non-essential travelers.
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While the EU might be throwing open its border, there still might be restrictions for travelers upon their return. For example, the UK has only added Portugal and Iceland to its ‘green list,’ meaning those visiting other countries must quarantine for 10 days. Similar conditions might apply for other returning tourists globally.
Despite these restrictions, hundreds of thousands are gearing up for their first holiday in nearly two years. Vaccines have boosted confidence for countries to open their borders and boost the economy. However, there is a greater reliance on testing as well for non-vaccinated travelers.
For now, many are eagerly awaiting the plan’s formal approval from the EU Trade Council today. Once we know the countries making the list, which also depends on rates of testing and vaccinations, expect travel bookings to rise quickly.
As international travel picks up in a big way for the first time in 15 months, airlines are updating their schedules. US airlines like American, Delta, and United are all laying on flights to new destinations like Iceland and Croatia while restoring their previous transatlantic schedules.
Meanwhile, low-cost giants like Ryanair, easyJet, and Wizz Air are also ramping up their flights within the continent. Unlike last year, which had varying restrictions, the EU’s full reopening means greater scope for robust schedules. While pre-pandemic traffic is not expected this summer, a recovery is certainly on the cards.
What do you think about the EU’s decision to reopen its border this summer? Let us know in the comments!