EU member states agreed to add the U.S. to its safe travel list during a meeting Wednesday in Brussels, allowing Americans to travel to the bloc for nonessential reasons, reports Reuters.
Why it matters: The EU banned nonessential travel from the U.S. last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as American vaccinations increase, the EU is easing up, per CNBC.
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“The EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism or border policy, but has been working for months on a joint digital travel certificate for those vaccinated, freshly tested, or recently recovered from the virus. EU lawmakers endorsed the plan last week,” NPR writes.
The move comes as good news for the many Americans who hope to vacation this summer. Around 72% of Americans are planning summer trips this year, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
The big picture: The EU’s expansion of its safe travel list includes seven other territories as well — Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.
Of note: The omission of the U.K. was a “notable absence,” but the decision was made due to a recent rise in coronavirus cases there driven by the variant first discovered in India, according to CNBC.
What’s next: The change will be formalized on Friday, AP reports.
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