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European Union countries agree to open to fully vaccinated Americans this summer

May 19, 2021
3 min read
European Union countries agree to open to fully vaccinated Americans this summer
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The European Union confirmed on Wednesday that it will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers this summer. The group's Member States came to an agreement that will allow fully vaccinated travelers to enter the EU — including Americans — according to a spokesperson. The final agreement is expected to be published later this week while a final vote for approval is expected next week.

Under the vaccine passport scheme, each of the EU Member States would adopt the same entry requirements for visitors. The agreed-upon notion will see fully vaccinated travelers allowed entry to each of the EU countries without the need for a further COVID-19 test result or quarantine on arrival.

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Travelers must be fully vaccinated with one of the approved vaccines in the EU, which means that any vaccine that's approved for use in the U.S. will be accepted — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer. Passengers who aren't fully vaccinated will likely need a negative COVID-19 test result and may be required to quarantine.

Related: Your guide to vaccine passports

Earlier this month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed the plan to reopen to vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries, including the U.S. That proposal has been agreed upon as of Wednesday by ambassadors, though it will face a formal vote next week.

Unfortunately, we still don't have a timeline for when the EU will implement this policy. EU Commissioner Christian Wigand did not say when the change to border restrictions would go into effect, however, he did say it will depend on individual countries setting up their respective systems to check proof of vaccination.

“Today EU ambassadors agreed to update the approach to travel from outside the European Union,” Wigand said. The European Council “now recommends that member states ease some restrictions, in particular for those vaccinated with an EU-authorized vaccine.”

A final approval of the proposal is still required and is expected next week, but its passage is "not in doubt," according to the Washington Post. The plan will also include an "emergency brake," which will allow the EU to change its advice if cases are rising in a country.

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In addition to confirming plans to reopen to vaccinated travelers, the European Union is planning on implementing an EU-wide standard of safe travel for tourists.

In a Tweet, the European Commission said that a "new COVID-19 tourism safety protocol label will facilitate the safe reopening of tourism in the EU." The new "safety seal" will single out compliant and safe tourist establishments, based on health and safety standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Member States will be able to award establishments with the new seal if they comply with advised standards of safety.

"The European COVID-19 tourism safety label will help tourism businesses ensure safety procedures ahead of the summer season, thus increasing the confidence of travelers, residents and workers in the tourism sector," said EU Commissioner Thierry Breton.

A number of European countries have already individually announced their plans to reopen to tourism. Most recently, France said it's going to open to travelers from June 9. If that date holds, Americans can look at visiting the country as well as other EU destinations — so long as the EU proposal is finalized and implemented by that date.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates...

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023