Europe reopens steadily its doors to tourism from third countries

The Foreign Affairs Council meeting approved on 20 May 2021 the EU recommendation on non-essential travel to the EU, which aims to open the EU to more tourists from third countries – especially those who are vaccinated and come from a zone considered to be safe by the EU.

The revision is based on the Commission proposal launched on 3 May 2021.

According to the Recommendation, the epidemiological threshold is now 75 cases/100,000 population – which is more flexible than the current threshold of 25 cases. This will open up the possibility for more tourists to travel to the EU without restrictions on testing or quarantine unless the member country requires it.

For vaccinated tourists, the formula adopted is to accept all tourists from third countries who have been vaccinated with two doses and to lift the testing and quarantine measures for them, if they have received a vaccine recognised by the European Agency. Member States will also be able to accept vaccinated tourists who have received a WHO-recognised vaccine if they so wish.

Nevertheless, Member States will continue having the possibility to test and/or quarantine tourists arriving from these countries.

In case variants of the virus will emerge, Member States can launch an Emergency brake’, as well as coordinated restriction measures in case variants of the virus emerge.

HOTREC fully welcomes the Council Recommendation and hopes that the current list of countries whose nationals can come to the EU be extended in the coming days.

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