European Union Opening To Vaccinated Americans This Summer

European Union Opening To Vaccinated Americans This Summer

28

Update: Here’s the latest on the European Union opening to vaccinated travelers.

We’ve seen individual European Union countries (like Croatia and Greece) open to vaccinated Americans. Well, there’s some very exciting news on that front, as the European Union has finally revealed plans to open to vaccinated Americans this summer.

Vaccinated Americans will be allowed in Europe

The New York Times is reporting that fully vaccinated Americans will be able to visit the European Union over the summer. Or more specifically, the European Commission, which is the executive branch of the European Union, plans to recommend a policy change for visitors.

This comes more than a year after most Americans were banned from the European Union when traveling for nonessential reasons.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stated the following:

“The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines. This will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union. Because one thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A.”

Approved vaccines include all those being administered in the United States, including Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson.

There’s no mention of unvaccinated Americans being allowed in the European Union on a widespread basis, even with testing, so it looks like you’ll have to be vaccinated if you want to visit most of the European Union this summer (however, both Croatia and Greece are open to Americans, and are allowing unvaccinated people to enter with testing).

Since this is part of a larger discussion between the United States and European Union, there would likely be reciprocity here, as the United States would probably lift its travel ban against the European Union.

The European Union plans to open to vaccinated visitors

When will the European Union open to Americans?

Here’s the catch — while things are moving in the right direction, and while talks are ongoing for this to happen, we don’t yet have a timeline for when vaccinated Americans will be allowed in the European Union. Not only that, but we don’t yet have details of what exactly entry restrictions will look like beyond needing to be vaccinated (will testing be required, what will be accepted as proof of vaccination, etc.?).

While it would be nice if restrictions were lifted shortly, the European Union has its fair share of bureaucracy, so I definitely wouldn’t count on restrictions being lifted in the next week, and maybe not even in the next month.

Hopefully we see rule changes ASAP, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if this only happens in July or so. Only time will tell.

We don’t yet know when travel restrictions will change

What about those with unvaccinated kids?

One challenge here is that in the United States the vaccines are only approved for adults, which creates problems for family travel. What happens if you have kids that aren’t vaccinated, but want to travel to the European Union? We don’t have all of the details yet, but there are a few ways this could play out:

  • It could be that children simply won’t be able to enter the European Union if they’re not vaccinated
  • It could be that the European Union also allows in people who provide proof of a negative coronavirus test, rather than just people who are vaccinated, in which case kids could get in that way
  • It could be that an exception is made for kids when it comes to the vaccine requirement, which doesn’t extend to adults

Iceland isn’t allowing in unvaccinated American kids

This is really exciting news, but manage your expectations

I’m thrilled to finally see the European Union planning to open to vaccinated Americans. This is great on so many levels — borders have been closed for a long time, and this is also a nice incentive to get vaccinated. The more we see countries reopen responsibly, the more we can move in the direction of a return to normal, and that’s so exciting.

That being said, I know some people are going to immediately plan to travel to the European Union for early summer, so I think a couple of warnings are in order:

  • We don’t know the timeline with which this will happen, and there are lots of unanswered questions and bureaucracy that can get in the way of this becoming a reality
  • Just because the European Union overall opens its borders to vaccinated Americans doesn’t mean that all countries will be open for business and welcoming tourists; for example, for the past six months Germany has had a ban on nonessential hotel stays, regardless of where you’re from (while I hope this will change, nothing is for sure)

Hopefully travel restrictions are lifted soon!

Bottom line

There are discussions happening at the highest levels of the European Union about vaccinated Americans being allowed to visit this summer. This is such great news, since it’s the first official confirmation we’ve received of discussions happening on such a high level.

Hopefully this does in fact become a reality, though there’s still a lot that needs to be figured out — we don’t yet know the timeline, or the restrictions that will be associated with travel.

What do you make of the European Union’s updated plans to allow vaccinated Americans to visit this summer? Anyone planning summer travel to the European Union, and if so, how are you approaching it?

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  1. Jesper

    @Ben
    While this is widely reported, immigration and quarantine is not under the remit of the European Commission and Ursula von der Leyen can't promise on behalf of the individual countries. That would be like the Biden administration promising to reduce state level taxes. Each country will decide what they will and will not do, and have full power to do so. Greece has already opened, other EU countries have not. Some may not...

    @Ben
    While this is widely reported, immigration and quarantine is not under the remit of the European Commission and Ursula von der Leyen can't promise on behalf of the individual countries. That would be like the Biden administration promising to reduce state level taxes. Each country will decide what they will and will not do, and have full power to do so. Greece has already opened, other EU countries have not. Some may not open by the time line wished by the commission president.

  2. jordan23

    @ John L

    "Can’t wait to see more and more stories about the vaccinated getting reinfected throughout the next year.. What a CF"

    jackass rooting for vaccine failure.

  3. Bill

    I'm glad that they are limiting travel to vaccinated people. Hopefully anyone caught trying to pass off forged vaccination certificates is severely punished to send a message. I will consider going to Europe this summer IF things are actually opening up. If covid numbers continue to be high there and/or there are significant restrictions I see no reason to spend the money to travel there for that. I believe many european countries will want to...

    I'm glad that they are limiting travel to vaccinated people. Hopefully anyone caught trying to pass off forged vaccination certificates is severely punished to send a message. I will consider going to Europe this summer IF things are actually opening up. If covid numbers continue to be high there and/or there are significant restrictions I see no reason to spend the money to travel there for that. I believe many european countries will want to open up as much as possible for tourism to help their tourism economies recover. That being said if they can't get their covid numbers down I don't expect it to be a very good experience until they get their population mostly vaccinated. Don't see that happening by early summer.

  4. Adam

    How to prove your vaccine status? Here’s an example from NY State. Download the NYS wallet app from the AppStore and enter your info. If you can successfully answer the questions you get a digital vax card it seems valid for 6 months since last jab. Subject to change, probably. But you can at least show authorities you have been vaccines in NY State. Eventually I’d expect this to become a federal digital ID but...

    How to prove your vaccine status? Here’s an example from NY State. Download the NYS wallet app from the AppStore and enter your info. If you can successfully answer the questions you get a digital vax card it seems valid for 6 months since last jab. Subject to change, probably. But you can at least show authorities you have been vaccines in NY State. Eventually I’d expect this to become a federal digital ID but as we all know this could take some time.

    Returning to USA there is still conflicting info. I work at AF and our database shows conflicting info , as an example, if you wanted to return from Greece to America today it says vaccinated Americans don’t need a Covid test to return. Then the next line says you do. Imagine everyone who updates Covid travel rules are in a bit of a crunch.

    Long story short, be careful about booking too soon and try to book refundable hotels!

  5. S Lee

    So.. how are we supposed to prove our vaccination status at immigration? Just with a scrap of paper CDC card that anyone can forge?

  6. JBR

    @Aussie:

    Unfortunately those anti-vaxxers will probably still be getting in with fraudulent CDC vaccination cards. Hopefully the EU requires more verification than those.

  7. Raksiam

    The most interesting part will be: what will be required to prove vaccination? The administration of this could be quite a challenge

  8. Aussie

    Fantastic. All the American tourist $$$ without the obese, obnoxious personalities (who are inevitably anti-vaxxers). Win for all!

  9. Jan

    Hopefully the Swiss follow suit, (and of course, Uncle Joe removing testing requirements to fly back to US) then it’s game on for Fall

  10. ChrisC

    Ben

    Once again there is NO travel ban by the US for the EU.

    The ban is against countries in the Schengen Zone. Plus separatly the UK and Republic of Ireland

    There are EU members who aren't in Schengen and they aren't banned - Croatia for example.

    Someone above mentioned Cyprus which is aos in the EU but not in Schengen.

    There are non EU countries who are members of Schengen but not the EU and so are banned as per the Presidential Proclamations.

  11. eric

    so what about EU into USA? I mean if you can get a Pfizer over here that is ;-)

  12. Phillip

    @Reaper AZ ran some of their initial trials with the longer periods between vaccinations - which ultimately also resulted in slightly messier results than the Pf and Mod. When the U.K. announced the 11-12 week gap, Pfeizer was very quick to say that they could only recommend a gap of 3 weeks because that was the only time period they trialled (to begin with anyway). I’m sure there will soon me more real life data on that subject soon.

  13. Jon

    Ben- I didn't realize that Iceland wasn't allowing unvaccinated non-vaccine eligible children to enter with their parents. Can you point to a source on this?

    According to https://visiticeland.com/article/iceland-and-covid19-coronavirus, "If a child travels with a parent/custodian who has a certificate of exemption at the border, it must then be tested at the border but does not have to go into quarantine. While waiting for the test results the child needs to follow the rules for...

    Ben- I didn't realize that Iceland wasn't allowing unvaccinated non-vaccine eligible children to enter with their parents. Can you point to a source on this?

    According to https://visiticeland.com/article/iceland-and-covid19-coronavirus, "If a child travels with a parent/custodian who has a certificate of exemption at the border, it must then be tested at the border but does not have to go into quarantine. While waiting for the test results the child needs to follow the rules for quarantine."

    I took this to mean that the child will need to quarantine until results of the on-arrival test results come back, which according to that same page should take between 6-24 hours.

  14. Phillip

    @VitaliU Thanks for the date update.

    With regards to time after vaccinations, Cyprus is currently publishing a detailed list which varies based on each vaccine:

    *Time frames for travel purposes

    Janssen / Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
    Fourteen (14) days must elapse between the completion of the required dose of the vaccine (1-dose vaccine) and the date of travel.

    Vaxzevria Vaccine (AstraZeneca)
    Seven (7 days) must elapse between the completion of the required doses...

    @VitaliU Thanks for the date update.

    With regards to time after vaccinations, Cyprus is currently publishing a detailed list which varies based on each vaccine:

    *Time frames for travel purposes

    Janssen / Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
    Fourteen (14) days must elapse between the completion of the required dose of the vaccine (1-dose vaccine) and the date of travel.

    Vaxzevria Vaccine (AstraZeneca)
    Seven (7 days) must elapse between the completion of the required doses of the vaccine, (2-dose vaccine) and the date of travel.

    Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine
    Seven (7 days) days must elapse between the completion of the required doses of the vaccine, (2-dose vaccine) and the date of travel.

    Moderna Vaccine
    Fourteen (14) must elapse between the completion of the required doses of the vaccine, ( 2-dose vaccine) and the date of travel.

  15. Reaper

    @Phillip, “Also, in the U.K., all approved vaccines (AZ, Mod, Pf) are administered 11-12 weeks apart. It was part of the strategy to give as many people as possible some form of protection!”

    Many countries did this. And I thought the US should have, but it’s become a moot point now. Vaccine supply is no longer a constraint in most of the US, idiocy of potential recipients is.

  16. VitaliU

    @Phillip. Cyprus will allow fully vaccinated visitors from the US to enter without testing or any other restrictions as of May 10 (not May 1). They currently define fully vaccinated as having had the second dose (or one JJ dose) but I suspect they will correct that by May 10 to 2 weeks after the second dose.

  17. Phillip

    Also, in the U.K., all approved vaccines (AZ, Mod, Pf) are administered 11-12 weeks apart. It was part of the strategy to give as many people as possible some form of protection!

  18. Phillip

    Cyprus is also open to those travelling from the US as of now. The US is on the red list which means a test before departure and a test on arrival and if negative, people are free to roam. This is regardless of whether people are vaccinated. From 1 May, they are expecting to open the doors to all who are vaccinated. Like Greece though Cyprus is in a two week strict lockdown at the moment.

  19. Luke

    First time I have seen someone use the BioNTech reference. I was just speaking with my step mother in Germany and she said she just got that vaccine. Had to Google it to determine it’s the name also used in Europe for the Pfizer vaccine. Interesting was that she mentioned Germany is implementing a 6 week timeframe between the first and second shot.
    — Christian

    A husband/wife pair of Turkish-German scientists developed the...

    First time I have seen someone use the BioNTech reference. I was just speaking with my step mother in Germany and she said she just got that vaccine. Had to Google it to determine it’s the name also used in Europe for the Pfizer vaccine. Interesting was that she mentioned Germany is implementing a 6 week timeframe between the first and second shot.
    — Christian

    A husband/wife pair of Turkish-German scientists developed the actual science behind the Pfizer vaccine. Their company is BioNTech, and they hold all the patents. They partnered with Pfizer to administer large-scale clinical trials and ramp-up mass production.

  20. Peter

    So many open questions, besides the ones you already mentioned, one that might be of higher relevance within short is how do different vaccines cope with escape mutations... in other words, are all vaccines equal? Imagine a situation where you are let in and your spouse is not because of a different vaccine...

    And BTW, keep in mind this is not VdL's call, she might have an opinion, she might express a wish and that's...

    So many open questions, besides the ones you already mentioned, one that might be of higher relevance within short is how do different vaccines cope with escape mutations... in other words, are all vaccines equal? Imagine a situation where you are let in and your spouse is not because of a different vaccine...

    And BTW, keep in mind this is not VdL's call, she might have an opinion, she might express a wish and that's it...

    Politicians have maneuvered themselves and their countries in corners from which getting out will be very difficult indeed...

  21. Richard G

    As it stands, even with travel allowed many countries still have quarantine requirements... will be a while for all of this to shake out.

  22. Christian

    Really happy about this and looking forward to seeing family in Germany and maybe making a vacation trip somewhere else. now that we are fully vaccinated.

    First time I have seen someone use the BioNTech reference. I was just speaking with my step mother in Germany and she said she just got that vaccine. Had to Google it to determine it's the name also used in Europe for the Pfizer vaccine. Interesting was that...

    Really happy about this and looking forward to seeing family in Germany and maybe making a vacation trip somewhere else. now that we are fully vaccinated.

    First time I have seen someone use the BioNTech reference. I was just speaking with my step mother in Germany and she said she just got that vaccine. Had to Google it to determine it's the name also used in Europe for the Pfizer vaccine. Interesting was that she mentioned Germany is implementing a 6 week timeframe between the first and second shot.

  23. miamiorbust

    This is going to be interesting. CDC continues to recommend Americans don't travel but sits quietly as its political brethren at Team Biden opens the boarder to EU passport holders - and leaves accesses from India wide open. Another new low in mixed messages. Is it too much to expect a government with functional communication skills?

  24. JC

    I gave two little ones, 1 and 3...seems like most places will allow kinds under 2 to enter, but 2-16 is the gray area..

  25. John L

    "Follow the science." Yea right. Don't mind the folks that caught C19 and have immunity.

    Can't wait to see more and more stories about the vaccinated getting reinfected throughout the next year.. What a CF

  26. Chris

    Pfizer applied for EUA to offer the vaccine to kids as young as 12, so it looks more likely that vaccinations will be extended to kids rather than kids being let in unvaccinated.

  27. Bob

    Who cares about kids?
    Leave them at home.

    And file this one in the "I'll believe it when I see it" column

  28. Joe Chivas

    My buddy Stuart is going to love this.

Featured Comments Load all 28 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Jesper

@Ben While this is widely reported, immigration and quarantine is not under the remit of the European Commission and Ursula von der Leyen can't promise on behalf of the individual countries. That would be like the Biden administration promising to reduce state level taxes. Each country will decide what they will and will not do, and have full power to do so. Greece has already opened, other EU countries have not. Some may not open by the time line wished by the commission president.

jordan23

@ John L "Can’t wait to see more and more stories about the vaccinated getting reinfected throughout the next year.. What a CF" jackass rooting for vaccine failure.

Bill

I'm glad that they are limiting travel to vaccinated people. Hopefully anyone caught trying to pass off forged vaccination certificates is severely punished to send a message. I will consider going to Europe this summer IF things are actually opening up. If covid numbers continue to be high there and/or there are significant restrictions I see no reason to spend the money to travel there for that. I believe many european countries will want to open up as much as possible for tourism to help their tourism economies recover. That being said if they can't get their covid numbers down I don't expect it to be a very good experience until they get their population mostly vaccinated. Don't see that happening by early summer.

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