Europe Officially Opens To Vaccinated Tourists

tourist Young woman wearing medical mask and walking with suitcase on the street.
Phynart Studio / Getty Images

The European Union agreed on Wednesday to allow tourists who have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine, or those coming from a list of countries considered safe from Covid-19, back into its borders, The New York Times reported.

See: How Your Hotel Stay Will Be Different When Traveling Post-Pandemic
Find: Despite Optimism for Summer Travel, The Real Rebound Might Have to Wait a Year

After being mostly inaccessible for almost a year, the news comes just in time for the summer season.

The list of “safe” countries will be finalized by the EU on Friday. As far as approved vaccinations, the EU will accept vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm. This means that most Americans who have been vaccinated will be able to freely travel to Europe as of yesterday.

Important to note is you’re looking to travel: This is not a blanket policy for each country. Each country has the right to retain the freedom to be more restrictive.

For example, the EU has allowed vaccinated Americans to enter its border, but Greece has exercised one of the more stringent policies of requiring a negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival. This means 72 hours before arrival in the country, not before departure so make sure you allot enough time for the test and the result. Some countries require a quarantine period as well.

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In these cases, vaccination cards will not be enough to get you through the gate and you will need to show proof of a negative PCR test. PCR nasal swab tests need to be sent to the laboratory for results, which are usually e-mailed to you. Make sure to find a lab that can guarantee you results in 1-2 days, and 24 hours if you are traveling from the West Coast. West Coast travelers need to take into account the possible 10 hour time difference with some European countries in order to allot for appropriate PCR windows.

See: What the US and 4 Other Countries Are Spending on a Vaccine Rollout
Find: Americans Have Too Many Airline Miles And That Could Cost Them

More information on which countries require PCR tests and other member-specific guidelines can be found here.

Even before news of the relaxed borders broke, Booking.com CEO Glen Fogel said last week that “prices are already going up” in a conversation with BBC.

Aviation analyst John Grant also told the BBC that pent-up demand will in the short term create a rush of revenge spending but  “in turn, the airline algorithms will detect an uptick in demand and move prices up accordingly.”

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 

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