The EU makes travel options more flexible for tourists outside Europe

by Lorraine Williamson
tourists outside Europe

BRUSSELS – The 27 EU countries reached an agreement on opening their borders to tourists from outside Europe. Tourists fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are welcome in the European Union. The Balearic Islands are also less strict for partially vaccinated Spaniards. 

Currently, only tourists from a handful of “safe countries” can travel to Europe for unnecessary purposes. However, thanks to this decision, many more holidaymakers outside Europe can now book a holiday abroad. 

Relaxation on the advice of the European Commission 

Following a new recommendation from the European Commission, the decision was made on Wednesday. Furthermore, the ambassadors of the EU countries agreed with the recommendation. Most likely it will be formalised on Thursday within the Inter-territorial Council of Ministers of the European Commission. 

Only vaccinated holidaymakers welcome without additional measures 

However, there are conditions. One such condition is this only applies to people who received the final dose of one of the EMA approved vaccines within14 days.

The approved vaccines are;

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  • Pfizer
  • Moderna
  • Janssen
  • AstraZeneca

This option is mainly for the people from the United States and the United Kingdom.  And is relevant for those wishing to choose a country within Europe for their holiday destination. 

EU countries may use emergency brakes 

However, Member States still have the option to intervene when, for example, new variants of Covid-19 emerge in a country. With this “emergency brake”, the EU is able to restrict travel traffic to and from these types of countries. 

Balearic Islands relax restrictions for Spaniards 

It was also announced that from Sunday, May 23, the Balearic Islands authorities no longer require a PCR test from Spanish tourists wishing to travel to the Balearic Islands by boat or plane. This privilege applies to Spanish residents vaccinated with one dose of an approved vaccine. For these people, they must also have recieved this at least two weeks prior.

The same measure will apply to residents from autonomous regions where the average incidence over the previous 14 days is below 60 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The Balearic Islands have been demanding a negative PCR test result from all Spaniards since December 20, 2020. 

For Spaniards not yet been vaccinated, they need only show a negative antigen test result and not necessarily a PCR result. 

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