The good news is that Europe is opening up the borders for international travel after more than a year of remaining closed. The bad news is tourists will have to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 first.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission told the New York Times on Sunday, “The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines. This will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union.” She added, “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.”
The E.U. has approved all three of the vaccines that are also approved in the United States — Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson.
Breaking News: American tourists who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to visit the European Union this summer, a top official told The Times. https://t.co/VkcyzMWCNu
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 25, 2021
This shouldn’t be much of a surprise as the E.U. has been working on providing citizens a “Digital Green Certificate” that includes vaccine status, COVID test results, and if the traveller has recovered from the illness in recent months.
The European Union itself has begun the process of furnishing its own citizens with “digital green certificates,” which will state whether the traveler has been vaccinated against Covid-19; has recovered from the disease in recent months; or has tested negative for the virus in the past few days. Europeans will be able to use those to travel without added restrictions, at least in principle, within the bloc of 27 nations.
Based on Ms. von der Leyen’s comments, the European Commission will recommend the change in travel policy, though individual member states may reserve the right to keep stricter limits. They might not permit citizens from outside the bloc to visit or might enforce restrictions like quarantines, even on visitors who have vaccination certificates.
It’s a welcome move to countries like Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Croatia that rely on the millions of American tourists every summer to keep their economies healthy and
For Americans especially, it would also highlight a stark change in Covid-19 fortunes: going from undesirable in Europe a year ago, when the pandemic was raging in the United States, to being in the front of the line of global travelers free to resume leisure trips.
But the return of leisure travel to Europe on a bigger scale will also highlight the deepening inequality between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, both within countries and, particularly, on a global level.
Source: New York Times
So far, the Biden-Harris administration has not supported a federal vaccine passport. However, they’re not opposed to private companies requiring proof of vaccination
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has slammed the idea of vaccine passports in late March because it would create two classes of people — the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. On April 2, he issued an order banning them, and an emergency bill introduced recently would make the ban permanent.
Knowing this, would you rather go on vacation — Europe or Florida?