American holidaymakers who have received a coronavirus vaccine will be permitted to enter the European Union in time for summer vacation thanks to the success of the U.S. vaccine rollout, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the New York Times Sunday.
- The timing of the imminent policy change is still unclear, and will depend on the spread of the virus in both the U.S. and Europe over the next few months, Von der Leyen said told the newspaper.
- The U.S. has made “huge progress” in their vaccine rollout, she noted, and added she hopes the epidemiological situation in Europe will also improve.
- Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, the three that are being distributed within the U.S., have all been approved by the European agency, which Von der Leyen said means they’ll be accepted at European borders.
- Discussions between Washington, D.C. and Brussels regarding how travelers will demonstrate they’ve been vaccinated are still ongoing, the Times reported.
Transatlantic travel has largely been barred since March 2020, when the onset of the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of society. In recent weeks, countries like France and Greece have hinted they will permit vaccinated American travelers to return to their countries this summer for a much-needed tourism boost. The Times reported that while Von de Leyen is onboard for Americans traveling within the EU, individual countries may be able keep tougher guidelines in for tourists, like mandatory quarantine periods or blocking international travelers altogether.