The European Union Wednesday recommended that member countries could start accepting tourists from the United States, who had been restricted entry as part of COVID-19 measures.
The 27-membered bloc agreed upon the decision to add the U.S. to the list of countries for which they should gradually remove restrictions on nonessential travel. The move was adopted during a meeting in Brussels of permanent representatives to the bloc.
The recommendation is nonbinding, and national governments have the authority to require test results or vaccination records and to set other entry conditions.
The EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism or border policy but has been working for months on a joint digital travel certificate for those vaccinated, freshly tested or recently recovered from the virus. EU lawmakers endorsed the plan last week.
The free certificates, which will contain a QR code with advanced security features, will allow people to move between European countries without having to quarantine or undergo extra coronavirus tests upon arrival.
Several EU countries have already begun using the system, including Belgium, Spain, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Poland. The rest are expected to start using it July 1.
It’s mainly meant for EU citizens, but Americans and others can obtain the certificate too – if they can convince authorities in an EU country they’re entering that they qualify for one. And the lack of an official U.S. vaccination certification system may complicate matters.
Some EU countries have already started allowing in American visitors, though. On the other hand, Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said this week a careful and phased-in approach should remain the rule.
“Let’s look at science and let’s look at the progress. Let’s look at the numbers and when it’s safe, we will do it," De Croo said. “The moment that we see that a big part of the population is double-vaccinated and can prove that they are safe, travel will pick up again. And I would expect that over the course of this summer.”
In addition to the U.S., the representatives of EU nations added five other countries – North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Lebanon and Taiwan – to the tourist travel list. The European Council updates the list based on epidemiological data which is reviewed every two weeks.
The representatives also decided to remove a reciprocity clause for the special administrative regions of China, Macao and Hong Kong.
The recommendations are expected to be formalized Friday.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.