BRUSSELS: European Union countries agreed on Wednesday to ease Covid-19 travel restrictions on non-EU visitors ahead of the summer tourist season, a move that could open the bloc’s door to all Britons and to vaccinated Americans.
Ambassadors from the 27 EU countries approved a European Commission proposal from May 3 to loosen the criteria to determine “safe” countries and to let in fully vaccinated tourists from elsewhere, EU sources said.
They are expected to set a new list this week or early next week. Based on data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Britain and a number of other countries would meet the new criteria.
The United States would not, although Americans with proof of vaccination would be welcomed.
One EU diplomat said cases of the Indian variant in Britain would need to be taken into account, although individual EU countries are already setting their own policies. Portugal lifted a four-month travel ban on British tourists on Monday.
Under current restrictions, people from only seven countries, including Australia, Israel and Singapore, can enter the EU on holiday, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.