A lot of vaccinated Americans have been making summer travel plans, but not so many folks have been looking specifically at Europe.
Their vaccine rollout has been chaotic at best, and a lot of countries have been mainly off limits for U.S. leisure travelers for the past year. And then this past weekend, some very good news came out of the E.U. In fact, fully vaccinated Americans will very soon be able to travel unrestricted to all E.U. countries.
So far, the vaccination certifications that will be accepted are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. There are still logistical problems that need to get worked out – primarily how American vaccination certificates will be verified for “proof” of immunity.
Once this piece of the puzzle falls into the place (likely over the next couple of weeks), the E.U. will officially change its policy to make tourism for Americans to all 27 E.U. countries possible again.
It sounds as though a temporary solution might be “low tech,” where a U.S. citizen could trade his or her own vaccine card for a local card once verified at a screening point at the airport. The E.U. has already begun issuing “digital vaccination cards” (stored on smartphones) to member citizens, though the United States has been less successful to date in implementing something similar. Ideally, government-issued vaccination certificates will soon be acceptable and readable at E.U. entry points.
Some countries (like Greece) have made moves to relax their own restrictions in advance. Greece will accept fully vaccinated American citizens starting this week.
The E.U. did qualify this change in policy and it made it contingent “on the epidemiological situation” continuing to improve in both the United States and European destination countries.
So even though a lot of Americans might be inclined to stay a little closer to home for their first post-pandemic trip, a lot of people are itching to get back out there and experience the world again. And with airfares relatively low, folks with a little pandemic savings in their pockets might be inclined to hop over the pond for a splashier vacation. To that end, take a look at our Europe Summer Flights page. You can see the best and worst days to fly this summer. There are a lot of great deals on offer!
Which side are you on? Will this news make you more or less likely to travel to Europe this summer?