The leaders of the European Union Member States have agreed today to open the borders for travellers from third countries, who have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus.
While the decision is expected to be announced today by the Council, an official of the EU has confirmed for SchengenVisaInfo.com that after a discussion on the reopening of the EU borders, the leaders have agreed on several points of a proposal presented by the EU Commission at the beginning of the month.
“The main points that the ambassadors agreed on today, is to permit entry for vaccinated travellers from the rest of the world, and to increase the threshold of the number of new COVID-19 cases used for the EU’s list of epidemiologically safe countries,” the officials said in an exchange of emails.
Earlier today, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the Council would meet today in order to update the list of the epidemiologically safe third countries, which in recent weeks have registered lower rates of COVID-19.
However, the source notes that the list will only be published by the end of this week, the earliest.
“The list will be based on data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention for the previous two weeks before its publication,” the source said.
Currently, the residents of seven countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Israel, are currently allowed into the bloc for non-essential travel, though not all of the Member States apply the list.
The possibility to permit entry for more travellers from third countries, in particular for travellers from the United States who have been vaccinated, had been warned by the Head of the European Commission, President Ursula von der Leyen. In April, von der Leyen has said that the block was planning to open its borders for fully vaccinated US travellers to visit the European Union countries for non-essential purposes this summer.
“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,” she had said at the time.
French President Emanuel Macron had also warned of France’s plans to permit entry for EU and third-country citizens, in particular for the United States travellers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We will progressively lift the restrictions of the beginning of May, which means that we will organise in the summertime with our professionals in France for French European citizens, but as well for American citizens,” Macron had said.
Several EU countries have already opened their borders for arrivals from third countries, in particular for the former EU citizens – Britons. On May 17, Portugal has opened its borders for tourists from the United Kingdom, while a day earlier, Italy started letting Brits enter the country with only a negative COVID-19 test result.