As more Americans receive their Covid-19 vaccinations, many are planning their first vacations for when the world begins to reopen more. On May 19th, the European Union voted to ease Covid-19 restrictions for travelers from Covid “safe” countries, as well as vaccinated foreigners from nations that are deemed “unsafe,” like the US.
The new list of criteria for nonessential travel to Europe is likely to be enforced within the next two weeks. These restrictions will also only apply to Americans who are fully vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson; other vaccines will not be accepted. Fully vaccinated also means it’s been at least two weeks since your final dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks from the single J&J shot.
The European Union is made up of 27 countries, all of which will open their borders to vaccinated Americans once the new restrictions are officially adopted. Greece, Ireland, and Italy have already begun accepting American travelers who arrive on a Covid-tested flight or provide proof of vaccination.
Americans are also able to travel to the United Kingdom, which formally split from the European Union last year, although nonessential travel is still discouraged between the US and UK. The Bureau of Consular Affairs also has a list of all the countries accepting vaccinated US tourists.
People who are not vaccinated may travel to some countries if they show proof of a negative Covid-19 test and adhere to each country’s quarantine rules. The overall goal is to get everyone vaccinated, so quarantine policies will likely stay enforced for a while until the world reaches a greater herd immunity.
As of right now the only way to prove your immunity is to display the card you received after getting your Covid-19 vaccine, which carries the CDC logo and all appropriate information. Covid-19 “passports” and smartphone applications are a growing concept, and will likely be more heavily enforced not only for travel, but massive gatherings as well like sporting events and concerts.
If you’re vaccinated, for the most part it’s safe to travel, but continue to adhere to all proper social distancing and safety procedures, including wearing a mask on public transportation. Like with the rest of the pandemic, it’s important to think about your personal health and the individuals in your house.
According to the CDC, “all air passengers returning to the US from another country must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before returning, and then test once more three to five days after returning home. Before traveling, you should consider the current prevalence of COVID-19 in your chosen country.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.