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Considering the U.S.'s aggressive vaccination effort and the desire of many European countries to return to 2019 tourism numbers, expect most of them to open their doors wide as soon as possible.

The European Union on Friday dropped blanket restrictions on the United States and four other countries. The easing of restrictions does not immediately allow access. Rather, it gives EU member countries the latitude to develop their own policies on a nation-by-nation basis.

The U.S., Albania, Lebanon, Serbia, and the Republic of Macedonia join a list of 12 other countries, territories, or regions that the EU says “member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders.”

The list of allowed countries has been revisited on an ongoing basis — roughly every two weeks — since June of 2020. According to the EU, “The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation.”

Some EU countries, including Portugal, had already eased restrictions on U.S. travelers. Intra-European movement for travelers who have been fully vaccinated was agreed on last week.

Countries With Preferred Access to EU

Countries or Territories
Albania
Australia
Israel
Japan
Lebanon
New Zealand
Republic of North Macedonia
Rwanda
Serbia
Singapore
South Korea
Thailand
United States of America
China
Taiwan
Hong Kong
Macau

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Tags: coronavirus, politics, usa

Photo Credit: Tourists at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. EU countries can ease restrictions for travelers from 17 countries and territories. Skift

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