The European Union recommends that their 27 members should ease restrictions on US tourists. EU members agreed on Wednesday that the US should become part of the list of countries that will have fewer restrictions on non-essential travel. This move was made during a meeting in Brussels.
EU Members Will Set Conditions
Though US travelers can expect fewer restrictions soon, the recommendation is non-binding. It means that the national governments will still have the authority to set different entry conditions. The entire EU still has no uniform border policy. However, EU members are working on having a unified digital travel certificate that can be used by individuals who are vaccinated or those who just had their COVID19 test.
The free certificates will make use of a QR code. This is initially designed for travelers within the EU to travel without undergoing additional tests. Countries like Spain, Belgium, Greece, Bulgaria, Czech Republic are among the countries that have already used the free certificates. The rest of the EU countries are expected to use this by July 1.
For Americans and travelers from other countries, they can also use the certificate. However, they will need to convince the authorities that they are qualified to have one. An EU spokesperson said that “Right now if you’re an American, not living in the EU, you could get the certificate if you ask the national authorities of a member state to give you that certificate based on some proof that you’ve been vaccinated, or had a recent Covid test”.
Some EU countries have already allowed American tourists to visit. However, Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said he prefers to have a phased-in approach. “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.
DeCroo wants to have more people fully vaccinated before opening their borders. The good news is that he expects to get enough people fully vaccinated this summer.
These recommendations to open the ease travel restrictions on US travelers are expected to get formalized this week.