Europe Easing Restrictions for Vaccinated Travelers

After being essentially closed for more than a year, the European Union (EU) is starting the process of returning to normal tourist operations ahead of the summer travel season.

According to reports in Reuters and in the New York Times, the European Union agreed to start to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travelers and other non-vaccinated tourists from countries considered “safe” from a COVID perspective.

North American visitors would be able to travel to Europe freely under the agreement if they are vaccinated with one of the approved COVID vaccines—Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm.

Travelers from North America who have not yet been vaccinated would not be able to enter the EU freely, as neither the U.S. nor Canada are expected to end up on that “safe” list, according to Reuters. A full list of the “safe” countries is expected to be revealed this week or early next week. 

Even with the approval, all of the 27 member states in the EU would be able to alter or tweak requirements, including requiring a negative PCR test or quarantines upon entry. The whole EU would also be able to snap back to a more restrictive set of standards if the COVID landscape worsens.