The European Union officials have formally approved that the bloc lift restrictions on non-essential travel from 14 nations, including the US. The move will allow travellers from these countries to holiday in Europe far more easily.

On Friday, the European Council said member states should “gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders” for residents of the following countries: Albania, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, USA and China, provided that the countries reciprocate.

The United Kingdom was noticeably missing from the list, which is to be reviewed every fortnight.

According to the EU Council, the selected countries were added based on specifications linked to the “epidemiological situation and overall response to COVID-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources.”

The European Union council also noted that reciprocity should be considered case by case.

While some nations, such as Greece and Spain, have already started welcoming fully vaccinated US travelers and/or those who submit a negative PCR test, or meet other special requirements to enter, this recommendation means that travellers from America could be permitted to travel to 27 EU member states.

Although, each member state in the EU will have the option to enforce additional requirements, such as a negative PCR test or proof of vaccination or a mandatory quarantine period.

The welcomed news comes over a year after non-essential travel from America to the EU has been banned.

At present, apart from US citizens and certain US residents, travellers who have recently visited the EU or the UK are barred from entering the United States.

In 2019, Over 36 million trips travellers from the US had entered Europe. However, data from the European Travel Commission shows that this figure dropped to less than 7 million last year.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Europe saw international arrivals drop by 70% in 2020, when compared with 2019.


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