DONALD WOOD | TravelPulse.Com
Troy Warren for CNT
The European Union announced the United States has been added to its safe travel list on Wednesday, clearing the path to make it easier for Americans to visit Europe.
According to CNBC.com, ambassadors from the 27 European Union nations recommended the region allow nonessential travelers from eight new countries and territories, including the U.S., Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen revealed in April that fully vaccinated American tourists would likely be welcomed to the EU by the summer, but Wednesday’s changes made the details of the plan clearer.
Travelers from the approved countries will now need only a negative test to avoid quarantine, with each EU member nation permitted to determine how the guidelines should be implemented.
The addition of the U.S. to the EU’s safe travel list also aims to coordinate the travel rules across the bloc. Once each member state approves the recommendations, the rules are expected to be finalized in the coming days.
While the U.S. was added to the exempt list, the EU decided against adding the United Kingdom due to coronavirus variants. Almost half of the population in the UK is currently fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Earlier this month. EU officials announced changes to help ease some of the burden placed on the tourism industry by allowing people and goods to move freely between the Schengen area’s 26 countries—22 EU nations plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland—without border checks.