The European Union on Wednesday announced plans to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated visitors, as well as people coming from a list of countries considered safe, with the United States expected to make the cut.
It’s unclear when these new rules will go into effect, but an updated list of countries that meet the new criteria is expected soon. Up until now, the list included only seven nations. The EU’s 27 ambassadors agreed to ease restrictions on nonessential travel and on those who are vaccinated for COVID-19 after imposing strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus last year“The council should also soon expand the list of non-EU countries with a good epidemiological situation from where travel is permitted,” said EU Commission spokesman Christian Wigand. The EU’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will give advice on the list.
EU nations have been struggling to support their vital tourism industry during the pandemic and hope to recover some income over the peak summer season.
The U.S. ranks among the world leaders in vaccinations, with 60% of Americans adults having had at least one dose, and new infections and hospitalizations are steadily falling. The seven-day average of new cases has dropped to numbers not seen since March 2020, essentially the start of the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.