Reigniting international travel got one step closer this week when the European Union announced that it will allow entry of visitors who have been fully vaccinated with an approved shot, or those that come from countries with low infection rates, news reports said.
The new measures are expected to go into effect next week. E.U. member states have the autonomy to tighten their own border restrictions, the news report said, and the new directive also contains an “emergency brake” option that members can trigger if COVID-19 variant infections spike or a new threat emerges.
“The European Union’s risk-based, science-driven plan to reopen international travel will hopefully spur the U.S. to heed the many calls for a plan and timetable to safely reopen our borders,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association (USTA). He also urged the U.S. to take proactive action to open the borders.
“The U.S. has been a leader in many aspects of managing the pandemic, but is behind our global competitors in pursuing an international economic reopening,” Dow said. “The millions of travel-related U.S. jobs that were lost to the pandemic won’t come back on the strength of domestic travel alone, so identifying the path to restarting international visitation is essential to an overall economic recovery.”