Brussels wants to open borders for tourists outside Europe

by Lorraine Williamson
Tourists outside Europe - The European Commission

BRUSSELS – The European Commission in Brussels is urging all EU countries to open their borders to tourists outside Europe from June. The condition is that the travellers have been vaccinated or that there are a few other exceptions. 

EC President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “It is time to revitalise tourism and safely restore cross-border friendships. We propose to admit vaccinated travellers and people from countries where there is a low corona incidence. ” 

Tourists outside Europe welcome the plan

This message was welcomed by the UK and America, among others, where tourists are eager to travel to Europe again. 

Only vaccines approved by EMA 

The proposal is that tourists ouside Europe who received the last dose of an EMA-approved vaccine, such as Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Janssen at least 14 days prior, are welcome in Europe. However, as children do not yet receive the vaccine, they must be able to show a negative PCR result. This must be obtained up to 72 hours before departure. 

Travellers from countries on the EU’s green list are also welcome 

People from countries where the corona situation is under control, and are on the green list of countries from which non-essential travel is allowed, are also welcome in Europe. Eligible countries must have a lower average corona incidence in the past 14 days than 25 positively tested persons per 100,000 inhabitants. 

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The digital green certificate is being designed for travelling within Europe, which must also be introduced in June. With this certificate, travellers can prove whether they have been vaccinated, have antibodies or have tested negative for Covid-19 in the last 72 hours. 

What advice does England give about travelling abroad? 

The ban on international holiday travel from the UK is due to be lifted on May 17. However, earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there will be some “opening up” of international travel. However, he was not specific on countries involved and stressed it is important to be cautious.

A traffic light system will be introduced with three different levels for consideration. These will be categorised as red, amber and green. However, as yet, the UK government has not given any indication as to where Spain will appear on this system.

What are the rules for Scottish, Irish and Welsh tourists? 

According to the BBC, the first ministers of Scotland and Wales have previously argued that 17 May would be too early for foreign holidays to resume. And as such, no date has yet been set for rules to be relaxed. Northern Ireland’s executive has not said anything about when it expects to make an announcement.

However, unless all four countries have the same plans in place for international travel, it will be very difficult to control. This is due to free cross border access within the United Kingdom.

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