FULLY vaccinated American tourists will be able to visit Europe for the first time since the pandemic under a new plan.
Ambassadors from the 27 EU countries approved a European Commission proposal from May 3 to loosen the criteria to determine "safe" countries and to let in fully vaccinated tourists from elsewhere.
They are expected to set a new list this week or early next week.
Based on data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Britain and a number of other countries would meet the new criteria.
The United States would not, although vaccinated Americans would be welcome in Europe.
This means that American tourists will be able to enter the EU for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020.
All US travel, except for that which was essential, was banned when coronavirus hit the world.
However now, Americans who have had any three of the vaccines used here – Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson – will be covered by the passport proposal.
It is likely that travelers will have to input information from their vaccine cars before they travel – however, exact guidelines have not yet been set.
An EU spokesman said countries will "ease some of the current restrictions, in particular for those vaccinated with an EU authorized vaccine".
He added: "The Council should also soon expand the list of non-EU countries with a good epidemiological situation from where travel is permitted based on the new criteria agreed today.
"This will help progressively resume international inbound travel where it’s possible to do so safely, while at the same time ensuring quick action to counter the spread of new virus variants."
Asked when vaccinated travelers might be able to start taking advantage of the new rules, he replied: "These things can go quite swiftly."
The plan agreed today says Member States should "lift restrictions on non-essential travel for vaccinated persons travelling to the EU".
It says: "This reflects the latest scientific advice showing that vaccination considerably helps to break the transmission chain.
"If Member States decide to waive the requirements to present a negative PCR test and/or to undergo quarantine for vaccinated persons on their territory, they should also waive such requirements for vaccinated travelers from outside the EU."
The policy is only a recommendation, meaning it's not legally binding on EU countries.
Instead, individual European states will retain ultimate control over the conditions for entering their borders.
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