The EU aims to open up to more foreign tourists this summer despite COVID-19

Brussels — European Union executives recommend relaxing COVID-19 travel restrictions next month to allow foreign tourists from more countries to enter the EU, and this summer’s disaster-stricken tourism I hope to boost the industry.

Current restrictions allow people in only seven countries, including Australia and Singapore, to enter the EU on holidays, regardless of whether they are vaccinated with COVID-19, but are subject to testing or quarantine. I will.

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On January 30, 2021, federal police officers check passengers arriving at Frankfurt Airport from the United Kingdom as the COVID-19 epidemic continues in Frankfurt, Germany. (Ralph Orlowski / Reuters)

Outlined by the European Commission on Monday, a new proposal that still requires Member State approval will allow fully vaccinated foreigners and those arriving from countries in “good epidemiological conditions”. Probably.

“It’s time to revive the tourism industry and safely rekindle cross-border friendships,” Ursula von der Leyen, chairman of the Commission, wrote on Twitter.

According to data provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people arriving from the United Kingdom, Russia, and many other countries meet the new standards. US citizens do not currently do so.

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Surfers walk on the beach on May 2, 2021 in Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy, when COVID-19 regulations are relaxed nationwide. (Jennifer Lorenzini / Reuters)

“We want to do this before the big summer trip begins,” EU officials said.

Twenty-seven EU member states will discuss the proposal on Tuesday, and authorities hoped it would be approved this month.

Big loss

Travel restrictions by COVID-19 have caused significant losses to the EU tourism industry and can have been difficult to agree on a common position when responding to a pandemic.

Certain EU member states are expected to follow a new joint approach if a new proposal is agreed, but it is not legally required. Greece has already agreed to welcome tourists vaccinated from Israel.

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On May 2, 2021, in Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy, people are enjoying Sundays on the beach as COVID-19 regulations are relaxed nationwide. (Jennifer Lorenzini / Reuters)

The European Commission recommends that people who are fully vaccinated with EU-certified vaccines be able to enter from any country, saying that other vaccines can be added if approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). I did.

The European Medicines Agency has approved the use of shots by EU Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca.

WHO has also approved the use of these vaccines and will decide to use two Chinese vaccines this week. Both agencies are considering approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

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Children will enjoy Sundays on the beach on May 2, 2021 in Castiglione della Pescaia, Italy, as COVID-19 restrictions will be relaxed nationwide. (Jennifer Lorenzini / Reuters)

The Commission said reciprocity should be considered when deciding on a proposal to allow leisure travel from third countries.

To limit the risk of importing new coronavirus variants, the Commission also proposes a new “emergency brake” that allows the rapid introduction of travel restrictions from countries with rapidly deteriorating health. did.

EU countries said they would review the situation every two weeks.

Other measures taken by the summer include a Central EU registration that allows vaccinated, negative COVID-19 tests, or post-recovery immune block citizens to travel free of charge. included.

By Gabriela Baczynska