European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a Sunday interview with the New York Times that fully vaccinated Americans could travel to the European Union this summer.
However, the final decision on whether to allow travel to an EU member state is made by each country individually, as the decision on borders is made by the member state and not by the European Commission in accordance with EU directives.
For example, Greece, which earlier this month lifted quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers and those who tested negative for Covid-19 from major tourism markets like Europe, the UK and the United States, can waive its rules because it is within those rules Greece has the power to do so.
Other European countries, such as Belgium, have decided to introduce additional criteria for all travelers at the external borders.
If you are outside of the EU and want to take a non-essential trip to an opened EU country, there are a few more hurdles to overcome:
- You must apply for a certificate of vaccination from the country you are traveling to before you travel.
- The vaccine certificate you received from your home country must be recognized by the EU country you are traveling to.
- You must have a coronavirus test according to the rules of the country you are traveling to.
Some countries may waive all or some of these rules or have stricter criteria.
Although the European Commission has recommended a digital green certificate or vaccination pass, these have not yet been adopted – and countries can deregister.
The proposed Digital Green certificate would allow those with the necessary arms of approved anti-Covid drugs or antibodies that the virus had to move around freely. Negative tests could also be used to qualify.
The certificates were initially only recommended by the Commission to EU citizens traveling within the EU, with the plan to introduce them in June. However, EU spokesman Adalbert Jahnz told CNN that talks are currently being held with the US to open the certificates for US citizens with proof of vaccination so that they are automatically eligible.
The ongoing discussions are focused on how US citizens can apply for the certificate.
The question is whether people make an individual application to the country they want to visit or whether they can get an EU-wide passport after the EU country has recognized the vaccine documentation of a non-EU country.
“In both cases, the rules for accepting proof of vaccination would be the same as for EU citizens: vaccines that have received an EU-wide marketing authorization must be accepted, but Member States can decide to accept other vaccines in addition.” on the proposal of the EC.