Vaccinated Americans will soon be able to travel to countries in the European Union

Photo (c) Stefan Cristian Cioata - Getty Images

The head of the European Commission says the U.S. is making ‘huge progress’ in its campaign to reach herd immunity by mid-June

In an interview with The New York Times in Brussels, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that vaccinated Americans will be able to travel to countries in the European Union this summer.

More than a year ago, it was announced that nonessential travel to the EU would be banned to limit the spread of COVID-19. But van der Leyen said the U.S. is well on its way to reaching its vaccination goals, meaning leisure travel to the EU will soon be permitted once again. 

"The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines," von der Leyen said, according to Sunday’s report. "This will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union. Because one thing is clear: All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A.”

The three vaccines currently being administered in the United States -- Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson -- have all been approved by the E.M.A. (the bloc’s drugs regulator). 

Talks of vaccine certificates

The European Union is reportedly talking with authorities in the U.S. about “vaccine certificates” that would serve as proof of vaccination when an American is traveling. 

According to the Times, "technical discussions have been going on for several weeks between European Union and United States officials on how to practically and technologically make vaccine certificates from each place broadly readable."

With or without vaccination passports, von der Leyen said the U.S. is “on track” and making “huge progress” with its push to achieve herd immunity through vaccinating at least 70% of adults by mid-June. According to data from the CDC, about 28% of Americans are now fully vaccinated. Roughly half of all U.S. adults had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of mid-April. 

Von der Leyen didn’t provide a timeline for when tourist travel to the EU will be allowed to resume, according to the Times report. 

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