Restrictions on travel to Europe from the United States are set to be eased after EU ambassadors reached an agreement on additions to the EU’s approved travel list, national officials told POLITICO.
Countries on Wednesday agreed to expand the list to include the U.S., North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Taiwan and Lebanon, with a formal sign-off expected at the end of the week.
That means EU governments should gradually lift restrictions on non-essential travel from those countries, but can still impose certain conditions, such as quarantines or PCR tests, on travelers.
The European Commission in May announced that it planned to expand the approved travel list to non-EU countries, allowing citizens — vaccinated or not — from countries with a low enough incidence rate to travel to Europe. Vaccination rates and the prevalence of variants of concern also play a part in whether a country makes it onto the list.
Other countries already on the EU’s approved travel list include Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. Hong Kong and Macao are also on the list.
Some European countries, including Greece and France, have already lifted restrictions on U.S. travelers.
Europe is hoping to boost summertime travel with the help of EU-wide certificates, which will come into force from July 1 and will verify travelers’ tests, vaccinations or immunity from a previous infection.
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