The European Union will open to vaccinated tourists this summer

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(In my DJ Khaled voice) Are you ready to travel?! Well if you are a fully vaccinated individual, chances are you will be eligible to travel abroad this summer. Ambassadors of the 27-country EU bloc approved a proposal that will allow fully vaccinated tourists to visit starting this summer. Currently 33% of EU citizens have had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. This step follows the Isle of Capri’s proposal of allowing fully vaccinated travelers on to the island this summer. Capri went as far as to vaccinate 80% of its residents and most tourism workers living off site. The move will allow travelers who have been fully vaccinated into any of the member states. The EU is also looking to discontinue the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travelers as well. As Britain is no longer in the EU they have their own rules. Below is more on the story from People:

On Wednesday, ambassadors of the 27-coutry bloc approved a European Commission proposal that will allow fully vaccinated tourists into the E.U., according to Reuters and the Associated Press.

“Today, E.U. ambassadors agreed to update the approach to travel from outside the European Union,” European Commission spokesman Christian Wigand told reporters, per the AP.

The official reopening is likely to take days once it meets its final approval, which will take place either later this week or next, according to reports.

According to the Washington Post, European officials are also working on a plan to eliminate quarantine rules for vaccinated visitors that have been implemented in countries like France and Belgium, both of which require a seven-day quarantine for incoming travelers.

Due to no longer being a part of the E.U., Britain has its own set of rules regarding travel amid the pandemic.

Reports first surfaced late last month that the E.U. was planning to allow American tourists who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to visit this summer. The three vaccines used in the U.S. — Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson — have also been approved in Europe.

“The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, told the New York Times last month “This will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union.”

“Because one thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A,” added von der Leyen.

[From People]

Like I said in my writeup about Capri, as much as I want to travel, I will wait until next year to go further than the Caribbean. I want to make sure that the EU get their people vaccinated and protected. However, I will not judge those who really need to jet off because I honestly get it. My only concern with the EU opening up is the low percentage of the total population vaccinated so far. I wouldn’t want to expose people who can’t get vaccinated to any new variants. Also, what will vacationing be like in Europe? Countries like Spain and southern France are popular in the summer because of their party scenes. With Covid still raging these events will probably be postponed. More than likely there may be a surge in people on beaches and in museums.

I am glad to read that 33% of the population in EU has had its first dose of the vaccine and I do hope that the EU and Canada will speed up their vaccine rollout. I also hope Africa, Central and South America, and Asia get more access to the vaccine so they can reopen their borders to travel as well. Hopefully, in this rush to reopen, the EU is working just as diligently to vaccinate their population. In the meantime, I am gonna go look at pictures of Italy and France and cry a bit. There is always next year.

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Photos credit: Ricardo Gomez Angel, Pier Averara, Claudio Schwarz Purzlbaum and Pixabay on Unsplash

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31 Responses to “The European Union will open to vaccinated tourists this summer”

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  1. Peanutbuttr says:

    I celebrated my vaccination by going to a small, all inclusive in the Caribbean and just staying at the beach. Yeah, it was boring but at this stage, I am not ready for crowds and indoor gatherings.

  2. Becks1 says:

    We are tentatively planning a trip to Europe for next summer, but the calculation is a little different because we have small children, so even they were allowed to the EU right now (and I don’t know if they are from the article) I wouldn’t want to travel internationally with people who can be transmitting the virus and who can get the virus. Hopefully by next summer the boys will be vaccinated.

    How are they proving that people are vaccinated? Will they be asking for vaccine cards?

    • Lauren says:

      They will be asking for vaccine cards and official documentation. Even for traveling inside the UE as of now we are required to show official passes (proof that you have been vaccinated or a negative covid test done in the last 48 hours) issued by the health authorities in our individual countries.

  3. helonearth says:

    I’m in the UK and will receive my second vaccine next week. But I won’t be travelling anywhere this year. The idea of going through an airport and sitting on a plane, even for a few hours, is very unappealing at the moment.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I am in UK too and it doesn’t really matter though, as only Portugal is on the green list, the rest of the EU is on the amber one, unsure how many non-retired people will fancy to stay home and get 2 tests done on return to the UK…

  4. Merricat says:

    We are planning a road trip, which only makes me a little nervous about hotels. Is crazy to bring our own linens? Lol. Seriously.

    • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

      @Merricat Not at all. Even in normal times, the mysterious stains on hotel bedlinen shown up by a blacklight is seriously urgh – I always strip off the coverlet, dump it in the corner of the room and scrub my hands. I also never touch the remote – those things never get cleaned, ditto the light switches!
      I’m terrified of the thought of travelling right now – we have the Indian variant circulating like wildfire in the UK, and as I have a plethora of chronic health conditions, there’s no way I want to go anywhere further than my back garden…

      • AlpineWitch says:

        I live not far away from a hot spot of the Indian variant, I even feel worried to go to the supermarket, let alone abroad… and my family lives in an EU country so I’d really like to see them again… but safety for everybody goes first.

  5. Midnight@theOasis says:

    @Merricat. Not crazy at all. A friend of mine who recently had to travel to Cleveland brought her own linens and used them at the hotel they stayed at. Whatever makes you feel comfortable.

  6. Aang says:

    I’m in NY right now and some things are still operating on reduced hours. Many of the smaller museums are only open on weekends right now and you need a timed ticket for things that are usually just walk up entrance. Even though capacity limits were lifted yesterday some stores are still enforcing limits and you have to wait outside for your turn. I’m not interested in flying to Europe for less than a completely normal experience. And flying right now just seems like too much. We considered Miami, SF, or LA but just didn’t want to fly right now. I need to enter back into normal life slowly. We are thinking Mexico for Christmas but only if they get a large number vaccinated by then. I’m not going to put others lives at risk because I want to travel. I need to get to Cuba ASAP to deliver money and stuff to family but who knows when I’ll be able to do that.

  7. Golly Gee says:

    Some of the variants don’t respond to the vaccination, and they are becoming dominant. I don’t see this going well.

    • Merricat says:

      What’s your source on that? Everything I’ve seen in my research says the opposite.

      • Golly Gee says:

        From what I understand, they are running trials of a booster that will address the South African and Brazil variants. In trials, getting a half dose of the original vaccine in a third shot increases antibodies but not as much as the newly formulated booster. It wasn’t clear how much protection one gets against the variants.
        So at the very minimum, a third booster of the original vaccine is necessary for protection.
        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-vaccine-pfizer-moderna-variants/

        And from NPR about the India variant:
        “ researchers at Emory University performed similar studies with antibodies taken from 15 people who have been vaccinated with either the Pfizer or Moderna shots. In these studies, the antibodies could still neutralize the B.1.617 variant, but the potency of the antibodies dropped by about sevenfold on average.”

        To me, the “antibodies dropped by about seven fold“ sounds bad, but the researchers seem happy with it. So there you go.

      • sassafras says:

        The immune system is way more than the sum of antibodies. Yes, we’ll know more about the vaccine as time goes on but we can’t discount science we don’t like or we’ll be as bad as the guys in charge last year.

      • Golly Gee says:

        Sassafrass, i’m not discounting anything, but this pandemic is a new frontier for everyone including scientists. Ultimately we are in the middle of an experiment, but the conditions keep changing. People have Covid fatigue and they just want to get out. This is understandable but extreme caution is still required. So far there has been a lot of closing the barn door after the horses are out. Had international travel been suspended more quickly at the beginning of the pandemic, Covid may have been nipped in the bud in North America. The variants have been able to gain a strong foothold as well because politicians did not act quickly enough to suspend flights from originating countries.

    • Seán says:

      There’s a lot of concern about the variants but none of it has been fully founded yet. It seems like the COVID vaccine is able to offer protection againt all variants. Even if COVID breaks through, it’s less likely that it will result in severe illness which is what we wll want.

    • Dilettante says:

      The CDC is still not recommending travel to most of the E.U. because of how prevalent Covid is. Check the website.

  8. Eleonora says:

    By the time the summer season really kicks off in July, that percentage will be quite a bit higher.
    Vaccinating is going much faster in the EU than even a month ago.

    That said, I can understand people not travelling too far yet. Going on holiday in your own or neighboring country can be nice too.

  9. Mel says:

    I’m ready to go back to Europe but it won’t be this year.

  10. Fernanda says:

    This news is more important than just tourism. I live in an EU country, while my parents live in a European non-EU country. So, even though they are a short 2 hours flight away from me, they cannot come to see me and their grandson. We haven’t seen them since January 2020. So, I really hope that all the EU member states adopt and put into force this decision because families are separated.

  11. Dee Kay says:

    I’m excited to go to Europe in 2022, definitely not in 2021. And we may not go in 2022 either depending on how this pandemic goes. I’m going to give the world a year to get this virus more under control in every region. This summer we’re going to fly one time to see my in-laws, as my father-in-law is not doing well in terms of his health, and that is making me nervous. But I think it’s worth it to fly to see loved ones at an important time, not “just” for fun travel.

  12. fluffy_bunny says:

    Anyone know when the Louvre is supposed to open back up? Dying to go somewhere we need to use our passports and my son is an art student and I think he’d love all of the museums.

    • Mel says:

      Museums reopened yesterday in France but not at full capacity yet. I can’t remember if it’s half or one third.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        Thank you. When I checked when they announced they’d be welcoming tourists it didn’t have an open date. I’m still working on my presentation to pitch to my husband.

  13. Amelie says:

    I *might* go to France for a week in July. My dad and my mom are going, they’ve already got their tickets booked for a two week stay. They aren’t going to be doing any grandiose sight-seeing, they are going to visit my dad’s family. My grandparents have not been doing well for months and now that my parents are fully vaccinated, my dad just really wants to go and see his parents. He can’t wait until 2022, they are both ailing and could no longer be alive by then. I know my grandfather got one shot at least, not sure about my grandmother. My sister and I are thinking of going as well as we are both fully vaccinated too. If I have a chance to see my grandparents before they pass, I am going to take it. I have a French passport, so I could enter France legally anyways but my guess is by July they will be letting in fully vaccinated Americans and I’ll be able to use the American one. It’s easier for travel purposes entering and leaving the US.

  14. Scarlet Vixen says:

    We live in the US, have had a family trip to London & Paris planned for 2 years, and have now moved our dates 4 times. Our current dates are in late August. Fortunately Delta/Hilton so far have been accomodating (my husband travels frequently for work so he is like, Platinum or Diamond status or something), but with things starting to open back up we are worried they won’t continue to let us move our travel dates. Only 3 of the 5 of us are currently vaccinated–my younger 2 kids (10 & 8) are not. Anyone in UK and/or France have an idea of how the vaccine requirements will work for children too young to get it yet?

    *Please no judgment that we are still considering going. We have been doing virtual school since Mar 2020, husband has been working from home 99% of the time, and we are continuing to take precautions & still masking up even after getting vaccinated. We have been abundantly cautious, and are just really hoping to be able to travel as a family (and not lose the $$$ we have invested in what is basically a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us).*

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      I feel you. I had a huge European cruise booked for June 2020 that we managed to get almost all of our money back for. It’s been pushed to June 2022. We are dying to go somewhere where we need our passports to enter. I’m going to pitch Paris to my husband. You might run into a problem because the UK is no longer part of the EU.

    • sassafras says:

      No judgement here. We had a big family celebration trip planned too. We’ve done everything right this past year and are now vaccinated and I won’t let anyone shame us from spending time with the family we’ve worked hard to keep alive.

  15. Ange says:

    I’d love to go but as an Aussie if I do I won’t be able to come home lol