After being off-limits for more than a year, the European Union will open its borders to American travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this summer, the New York Times reported Sunday. “Americans, from what I can see, use vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the Times in an interview. “This will allow free movement and travel to the European Union.
“Because one thing is clear: the 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines approved by the EMA,” he said. The EMA, the EU medical regulatory agency, has already approved the three vaccines used in the US: Pfizer PFE, + 0.05%, Moderna MRNA, + 3.29% and Johnson & Johnson JNJ, + 0.21%. Von der Leyen did not offer a timeline for when American tourists will be allowed, but said the European Commission will likely recommend a change in policy to restore travel. He noted that the launch of the vaccine in the US was making “great progress” and said the resumption of travel would ultimately depend on the situation in the US and Europe. The Times reported that there are ongoing discussions between US and EU officials about how to recognize fully vaccinated travelers, either with a so-called vaccine passport or a certification of some kind.