Vaccinated Americans might be able to add Europe to their summer travel plans
Travel restrictions are evolving for those who have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.
Fully vaccinated Americans looking to travel this summer will be able to add the European Union to their list of potential destinations, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, told The New York Times in an interview on Sunday.
Saying the U.S. is administering "European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines," von der Leyen told The Times that "free movement and the travel to the European Union" would be possible.
The European Commission is working to make sure travelers can corroborate vaccination with documentation that is compatible with its proposed Digital Green Certificate.
"All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A.," von der Leyen told The Times.
The commission is working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on a system for the recognition Americans' vaccination certificates – referred to as vaccine passports – including in terms of ensuring coherence and compatibility.
Uncertainty plagues summer travel:What we know (and what we don't)
Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can resume travel at low risk to themselves, the agency is still not recommending travel given rising coronavirus case counts. And vaccinated travelers still must abide by a CDC order, issued in January, requiring a negative coronavirus test to board international flights to the United States.
The State Department said last week that it was raising the alert level for a significant number of countries as it factors the CDC's COVID-19 data more heavily into its rating system.
The agency said about 80% of countries will now carry the "Do not travel'' label, a Level 4.
The State Department said the pandemic continues to pose "unprecedented risks'' to travelers: "In light of those risks, the Department of State strongly recommends U.S. citizens reconsider all travel abroad.''
Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson