Despite fears about the spread of potentially deadly coronavirus variants, the European Union has relaxed travel restrictions for Americans, marking the next step toward normalcy.
The United States, along with Albania, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Macau, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Serbia, and Taiwan, was added to a so-called “white list” of nations from which non-essential travel is permitted by EU governments on Friday. As soon as the new regulations are published in the EU’s Official Journal, they will take effect in a couple of days.
While several EU member nations currently allow vaccinated Americans to travel, membership on the white list implies that restrictions on US citizens will be eliminated throughout the bloc. It also means that, regardless of vaccination status, member states are allowed to allow quarantine-free travel from the United States.
The decision will benefit big European airlines such as Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG, who, like their American rivals, rely on lucrative transatlantic routes. Long-distance travel has been severely hampered by the pandemic’s limitations.
However, transportation across the Atlantic is still limited due to presidential proclamations prohibiting Europeans from visiting the United States. As vaccines continue across the continent and the incidence of coronavirus illnesses falls significantly, the EU is pressuring Joe Biden’s administration to reciprocate by removing restrictions for its nationals.
Holders of so-called digital Covid certificates will be able to travel freely between the EU’s 27 member states 14 days following the last dose as of July 1.