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Hold on to your vaccination cards: Americans who have been fully immunized could be allowed to travel to Europe this summer, the president of the European Commission recently told The New York Times.
While the European Union hasn’t yet announced the formal requirements to enter its 27 member nations, it’s likely that Americans will need government-issued vaccine certificates. For now, neither EU nor US officials have specified whether people will need to show the white vaccination card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other documentation.
Lisa Lee, a public-health expert at Virginia Tech, said European countries will probably have patchwork of different rules for US travelers.
“Some have said they’re only going to accept electronic [vaccine records] so it can be verified,” Lee told Insider. “Other people are afraid that the CDC cards are too prone to fraud and they won’t accept the paper cards.”
In an interview with Ouest France, French President Emmanuel Macron said foreign tourists could visit France with a “health pass” starting June 9. Macron didn’t expand on what that pass would look like, though. Spain’s tourism secretary, meanwhile, said this week that the country is prepared to let travelers back in in June — as long as visitors show proof they’ve been vaccinated, recently tested negative for the coronavirus, or recently recovered from COVID-19. And UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested earlier this month that British people could start traveling internationally on May 17.
“One thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by EMA,” Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, told The Times, referring to the European Medicines Agency. The EMA has authorized all three vaccines used in the US: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
Already, a few European countries — including Greece and Iceland — are allowing visitors from the US. Their policies could offer a hint at what to expect from other nations moving forward.
The US still doesn’t recommend travel to Europe
The CDC currently recommends avoiding all international travel to European countries, with the exception of Iceland. (The agency says Americans can travel there for essential visits only.) Similarly, the US is denying entry to visitors from the EU or UK unless they’re US citizens.
The Biden administration hasn’t said whether it will remove these restrictions in the near future, but travel and aviation groups are pushing the US government to open its borders to more countries, with testing requirements in place.
For now, the US also requires fully vaccinated Americans to test negative before reentering the country.
Lee said this policy helps protect the population from highly transmissible coronavirus variants that are more prevalent in other countries and might evade protection from vaccines.
“These vaccines are incredibly effective, but they’re not 100% — and they’re certainly not 100% or as effective against strains that we don’t know about yet that might be developing through transmission, so it’s still a good time to be somewhat …read more
Source:: Business Insider
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