European Union adds US to safe travel list

Aerial footage of the island of Kea, also known as Gia or Tzia, Zea and, in antiquity, Keos, is a Greek island in the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Kea is part of the Kea-Kythnos regional unit.

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LONDON – The European Union decided on Wednesday to add the United States to its list of safe travel, which means that it will be easier for American citizens to take a vacation in one of the 27 member states, have two European sources confirmed to CNBC.

Non-essential travel from the United States and other places had been banned in the EU following the coronavirus pandemic to prevent further contagion. However, as vaccinations accelerate, the 27 Brussels-based EU ambassadors recommended on Wednesday that the region allow non-essential travelers from eight new countries and territories.

These are the United States, Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Macao and Hong Kong.

In an interview with the New York Times in April, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said fully vaccinated American tourists would be allowed to visit the block this summer.

But this new EU recommendation could go even further by allowing American tourists to surrender with only one negative test and avoid the need for a quarantine period. It is now up to each country in the EU to decide how they will implement the directives and allow tourists to enter. Travelers should confirm the rules on their intended destination before boarding a plane.

Wednesday’s recommendation at EU level aims to coordinate travel rules across the bloc and is expected to be finalized in the coming days, following national decisions from each member state.

United Kingdom omitted

A notable absence from the exemption list is the UK, where nearly half of the population is currently fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

An EU official, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said non-essential travel from the UK remained banned “due to the delta variant”.

Earlier this week, the UK government delayed a plan to lift all restrictions on coronaviruses this month due to the rise in infections. A recent increase in the number of Covid-19 cases is linked to the delta variant first discovered in India, which is believed to be around 60% more infectious than previous strains of the virus.

The UK is now hoping that more vaccinations over the next four weeks will allow it to end all coronavirus measures on July 19.


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