Justin Bullock, FISM News
The European Union (EU) has officially opened tourist travel to its member countries by American citizens. This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic is finally coming to an end and people move back to pre-pandemic modes of life around the world. Previously, the EU’s 27 member countries had established a ban on non-essential travel for Americans in order to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus, now that the vaccine is widely available in the US and more and more Americans are vaccinated, the EU countries are reopening tourist travel in time for the summer tourist season.
This comes on the heels of the US reducing travel restriction advisories for a number of foreign countries all around the world. American travel and tourism, especially during the summer, is a major component of the EU’s economy, and all of last year, due to the ban and lack of travel and tourists, the EU economy suffered substantially. Now, the EU is hoping that a renewed desire to travel will provide a spark to its economy as countries around the world are hoping to recover from the toll of the pandemic.
The EU, like the US State Department, has a list of all countries with travel advisories that can be found here. However, travel to, inside, and from the EU will have some strings attached not found in America. Unlike the US, the EU has implemented a COVID-19 passport system that they call the Digital Green Certificate. This certificate will be obtainable by travelers to demonstrate one of three things: whether or not 1. the traveler is vaccinated, 2. the traveler has received a recent negative test result, or 3. the traveler recently recovered from COVID-19 and has the relevant anti-bodies.
The EU says that the certificate will be easily obtained by travelers with adequate proof of meeting one of the three requirements. However, the EU also made it clear that all of the 27 member countries will have the authority to impose additional travel restrictions or rules as they deem fit. Without the certificate, travelers may be subject to quarantining up to 14 days, additional testing, or even denial of entry into the subject EU country. The certificate will come into full effect on July 1, 2021 but most EU countries have already implemented it.