The European Union is planning to receive vaccinated tourists this summer without a period of quarantine. The specific regulations for the reopening of tourism will be ready by June.
The EU is gearing up to take a big step towards ‘normal life’ while re-oxygenating the hard-hit tourism industry. There should be another plan by this summer that would allow vaccinated tourists to enter the EU without an isolation period.
With such regulations, foreign tourists could return to Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Greece and Italy this summer. Indeed, income from tourism represents a significant share of the GDP of those countries. Cities such as Paris and Berlin, which traditionally receive a lot of tourists every year, also felt the impact of the pandemic in their pockets.
“Time to revitalize the tourism sector in the EU and to rekindle our relations across borders -safely-,” tweeted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, referring to the plans.
It does indeed seem like a good time to review the summer plans for Europe. While Europeans are currently facing a third wave of infections, there are also plenty of reasons for a portion of healthy optimism. Lockdowns are being relaxed in several countries, infection rates are gradually dropping and vaccination campaigns seem to finally get underway.
The EU could receive visitors from other regions this summer, but there are some rules of the game.
- Only tourists from countries with a ‘relatively low infection rate’ will be welcome.
- You must also be fully vaccinated to visit the EU.
- Member States can only approve a vaccination certificate for serums that are also only approved in the EU. So those vaccinated with shots from Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are in luck.
It is not clear whether someone who received an injection from the Russian Sputnik V or the Chinese CoronaVac will also be welcome. China received a lot of criticism in March for only allowing travelers to do so vaccinated with vaccines approved by the Chinese state. Now it seems that the EU will take a similar path after all.
The new rules should replace bans on non-essential travel to the eurozone by June. That ban has now been in force for more than a year.
Also read: ‘European tourism sector will not survive the loss of a second summer’