The 27 EU ambassadors based in Brussels recommended on Wednesday that the region allow nonessential travelers from eight new territories: the U.S., Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. Citizens of Japan, Australia, Israel and some other coutries are also allowed to come in Europe. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that fully vaccinated American tourists would be allowed to visit the bloc this summer. It is now up to the individual EU countries to decide how they will implement the guidelines and allow tourists to enter. Some countries are expected to require tourists show either proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test or a document atesting they have recovered drom the disease.
Travelers should confirm the rules on their intended destination before flying. Some EU countries heavily dependent on tourism, including Italy and Greece, have already opened to Americans before. Italy, Greece and France all suffered gross domestic product declines of more than 8% in 2020. Spain’s economy shrank by 11%. At this time, the U.S. still bars most non-citizens who have recently been in the EU from visiting the U.S. Airlines on both sides of the Atlantic have urged governments to open trans-Atlantic travel up for the key summer season. A big absence from the exemption list is the United Kingdom, even if almost half of the population is currently fully vaccinated. This is supposed to be due to the presence of delta variant of virus.