The European Union will look to welcome fully-vaccinated American tourists this summer, the president of the European Commission told The New York Times over the weekend.
"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 Times in an interview on Sunday. "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.," she added.
Those vaccines include the Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson shots.
A timeline for easing restrictions wasn't immediately clear, but von der Leyen noted it would depend "on the epidemiological situation," adding that the United States was making "huge progress" toward achieving herd immunity by mid-June.
Some countries in the EU have already started welcoming international tourists. Last week, Greece lifted quarantine requirements for visitors from several countries (including those from the U.S.) ahead of its plans to welcome back tourists on May 15.
Additionally, Iceland has allowed vaccinated travelers to visit — including from the U.S. and UK — while Croatia has waived pre-arrival testing requirements for vaccinated tourists.
The news also comes a week after French President Emmanuel Macron has said he wants to ease restrictions on international travel in time for the summer.
To make travel possible, the European Union has been exploring the idea of a vaccine passport with the U.S. Officials in Brussels told The New York Times those discussions are ongoing, but it's possible a low-tech solution could be used to facilitate international travel in the near future.
Last week, France became the first country in the EU to start testing a digital health certificate for travel purposes on flights to Corsica.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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