Your European summer vacation plans may be a go. The European Union on Wednesday took a step toward relaxing tourism travel for visitors from outside the bloc, with EU ambassadors agreeing on measures to allow fully vaccinated visitors in. They also agreed on easing the criteria for nations to be considered a "safe" country, from which all tourists can travel regardless of whether they've been vaccinated. Up to now, that list included only seven nations, among them Australia and Singapore. The European Council "will now recommend that member states ease some of the current restrictions" for those who've been vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, said EU Commission spokesman Christian Wigand, per the AP.
NBC News boils this down: The US will likely not be declared a safe country. That's because we don't yet sync with the new requirement that there be a maximum of 75 new COVID cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days (the figure was previously 25). But fully vaccinated Americans will be granted entry, and they wouldn't have to quarantine or be tested. Greece, which is heavily reliant on tourism, has already lifted quarantine restrictions for the US, Britain, Israel, and other non-EU countries as negotiations between governments and EU lawmakers to introduce COVID-19 certificates aimed at facilitating travel across the region this summer continue. A deal is required by the end of the month to ensure the system will be up and running by the end of June.
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