The European Union Council is set to hold a meeting today, May 19, and update the list of the epidemiologically safe third countries, which in recent weeks have registered lower rates of COVID-19, as well as countries with high rates of vaccinated citizens against COVID-19.
It is believed that among the countries that will be added to the list are also the United Kingdom and the United States of America, due to the high number of vaccinated people in both countries. While the first has already fully vaccinated one-third of its population, the latter has vaccinated more than a third of its 328.2 million citizens.
Previously, the number one person in the European Commission, President Ursula von der Leyen, had revealed 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 after more than one year of the ban imposed amid COVID-19.
“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,” President von der Leyen said at the end of April, almost a month ago now.
About a week in advance of von der Leyen’s statements, the French President Emanuel Macron had announced that France was also planning 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. So, we are working hard to propose a very concrete solution, especially for US citizens who are vaccinated, so with a special pass, I would say,” Macron said at the time, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
As per the UK, several EU members have already opened their borders for Britons, either asking them for proof of vaccination or COVID-19 negative test results.
Italy, for example, allows Brits to enter the country with only a negative COVID-19 test result since May 16. A day later, on May 17, Portugal has opened its borders for tourists from the United Kingdom, as well as the EU and Schengen Area countries.
Spain is also looking forward to opening the borders for British tourists. The country is one of Britons’ favourite summer holidays, and travellers from the UK account for the largest share of tourists during summer in Spain, based on their nationality
Yet, Brits remain banned from entering the majority of EU members, including Germany, the Netherlands, and more.
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.