European Union ambassadors representing 27 member countries on Wednesday reached an agreement to reopen the bloc for fully vaccinated visitors and those coming from countries with low recent Covid-19 infection rates.
The visitors must have been inoculated using one of the vaccines approved for use by the EU or WHO. The safe countries, which visitors could enter without vaccination, are those with 75 or less Covid-19 cased per 100,000 people in the previous 14 days.
It is unclear what is acceptable proof of vaccination, and European Union will release a list on Friday or early next week about the safe countries.
The entry requirements still won’t be uniform within the Schengen or European Union because individual countries can decide whether they accept proof of vaccination to let visitors in and can opt out altogether.
Also, countries may require PCR-RT tests, have quarantine, or other requirements in place. They should not, however, have a separate set of requirements for EU citizens and third-country nationals.
Visitors from “safe” countries who are not vaccinated need to have a PCR-RT test before allowed in.
The approved vaccines are:
- Johnson & Johnson
If infections suddenly rise in safe countries, there can be sudden changes who are allowed in and who not.
Several European countries have already eased entry restrictions:
There are few problems here because most decision-making is left to individual countries who they let in and who not. Unfortunately, European Union and Schengen countries couldn’t develop a uniform policy that would have been the preferred option.
I would assume that countries that are more dependent on tourism are eager (Southern) to allow outside arrivals in than others (Northern). This may lead to a situation where internal border checks are still in place, and third-country nationals are not fully allowed to roam within the bloc. You may be permitted to enter Italy but then not allowed to continue your trip to Germany.
There is no standard in vaccination cards, and those that are given to inoculated in the United States (a piece of paper) are easily fakeable, and you have the same situation with the PCR-RT tests.
Digital Green Certificate is coming online for travel within the European Union this summer that would allow travelers to prove their vaccination, test, or previous infection status. Again, the implementation is left for individual countries.
Quite frankly, I would not go on vacation in most of Europe this summer unless you are a national of one of the bloc + EEA. The experience just isn’t there with curfews still in place in some countries, and museums, restaurants, and other attractions are not fully reopened or limited hours at others.
Also, there can be sudden changes who are let it and what is allowed to do inside a country if there is a change in the epidemiological situation.