Americans fully vaccinated against the coronavirus could potentially visit countries within the European Union this summer, the bloc’s executive director said.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, told the New York Times on Sunday This vaccination with a vaccine approved by the Medicines Agency of the Block, the European Medicines Agency, “will allow free movement and entry into the European Union”.
The agency has approved each of the three coronavirus vaccines available in the United States, developed by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson.
“One thing is clear,” she told the newspaper. “All 27 member states unconditionally accept all those vaccinated with vaccines approved by the EMA.”
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NBC News confirmed von der Leyen’s statements to a European Commission spokesman who refused to comment.
A US mission spokesman at the E.U. in Brussels declined to comment.
A schedule for potential trips is not clear. The 27-person block is required digital vaccination certificates by travelers as proof of immunization.
A commission had previously confirmed that talks between the two sides are ongoing. On Wednesday, the Minister for Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, spoke with the Justice Commissioner of the European Union, Didier Reynders, in one virtual meeting where travel was discussed.
Travel also depends on the “epidemiological situation” in both regions, Von der Leyen told the New York Times, although she added that the US seemed “on track” to achieve herd immunity.
More tourists from the USA visit the E.U. than from any other country outside the block, with 25 million arrivals spending 74 million nights in 2016, according to one E.U.-funded report.
The European Union imposed travel restrictions on most foreigners last March and banned US travelers when its borders reopen in July.
Tim Stelloh reported from New York; Patrick Smith reported from London.