Europe COVID rules: Can you travel there?

The European Union (EU) announced Wednesday that the bloc will soon open to vaccinated travelers and travelers from “safe” COVID-19 countries without needing to quarantine. The reopening announcement comes almost one year after the EU first closed its borders to foreigners, CNN reports.

This announcement comes just in time for the summer tourist season. Though, according to The Washington Post, some think the decision comes too late for the first few months of the travel season.

What are the new travel rules from the EU?

The EU reopening will allow travelers to come for leisure purposes if they meet at least one of two conditions, says The Washington Post and The New York Times:

  • Vaccinated travelers who have received immunizations from the list of EU-approved or WHO-approved vaccines, The New York Times reported.
  • Travelers of any vaccination status from “safe” countries who have sufficiently controlled their own outbreaks, The Washington Post reported.

The list of approved vaccines includes Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm, says The New York Times and USA Today. The EU’s list of approved vaccines excludes those manufactured in Russia and other Chinese vaccines.

What’s still uncertain about the EU reopening?

Currently, there is no confirmed date for the implementation of these new rules. According to CNN, officials are optimistic these changes will come by June. However, The Washington Post says the changes may come within days of the final approval, meaning as easily as this week or next week.

The new travel guidelines still allow member countries to set more restrictive travel requirements, including quarantines, negative PCR tests, proof of vaccination, or proof of recent COVID-19 infection and recovery, CNN says.

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