July 26, 2021

As summer approaches, the EU is gradually reopening its borders

Joe Biden had barely left Brussels, after the Europe-United States summit, on the occasion of which the two partners announced a truce in the Airbus-Boeing conflict, when the Twenty-Seven allowed American tourists to return to the Old Continent. On Wednesday June 16, they indeed expanded the list of countries – until then composed of Japan, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand – whose nationals can travel within the European Union (EU), regardless of the reason for their travel. And added the United States, but also Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.

The EU, which closed its external borders for non-essential travel in March 2020, is gradually reopening as summer and the summer holidays approach. It makes its decisions based on the epidemiological situation (the incidence rate must be less than 75 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants over the last fourteen days) of the third country, the progress of its vaccination campaign, the number of tests carried out, or the reliability of the data. However, these criteria are not automatic. So even if the UK fulfills them, the British remain banned from entering Europe except for essential travel. “The situation has not stabilized across the Channel. We are waiting to see more clearly the evolution of the variants there before deciding ”, explains a diplomat.

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But, even if European borders are again open to American or Lebanese tourists, nothing prevents member states from imposing a test or quarantine on them. As for the Americans, Brussels is in discussions with Washington for mutual recognition of health certificates, which must allow their holder to prove that he has been vaccinated, tested negative or that he is immune after contracting the virus, and allow him to come to Europe without restriction.

32% of adults fully vaccinated

Citizens from third countries not appearing on this list can also travel to Europe if they have been vaccinated with one of the products authorized by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson ). But they too remain subject to the restrictions decided by the member states.

A few days ago, the Twenty-Seven also stopped the conditions of movement within the EU. People vaccinated against Covid-19, with one of the four authorized vaccines, will be able, fourteen days after receiving their second dose, to travel to Europe without having to undergo a screening test or go into quarantine. To date, more than 300 million doses have been administered in the EU and 32% of Europeans over 18 are fully vaccinated.

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