Planning on traveling to Europe this summer? You’re not alone. A vast number of eager Americans are looking to travel internationally this year, as many European countries are planning to open up to vaccinated travelers. Though this is a very exciting time for everyone, visiting Europe now may look quite different than it did pre-pandemic, and there are some things that you’ll want to be aware of before booking your plane ticket. Read on for everything you should know if you plan on traveling to Europe this summer:
When Exactly Will Europe Reopen?
It seems that the reopening of Europe will come in waves, but most countries hope to reopen by this summer. As of May 19, 2020, Greece, Iceland, and Croatia are open to American tourists, and France has plans to reopen to American tourists by June 9, 2021.
When it comes to other countries, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen stated that “All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by E.M.A.”. The E.M.A. (European Medicine Agency) has approved COVID-19 vaccines produced by companies Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
Will I Need to be Vaccinated to Visit Europe?
Recently, ambassadors from the European Union approved a proposal to waive quarantine for anyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine produced by companies Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
If you haven’t been vaccinated but are looking to travel to Europe this summer, you may have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Furthermore, travelers who aren’t vaccinated may not have to quarantine if they come from a country that has a 14-day new-case rate of less than 75 per 100,000 people, according to Bloomberg.
What Restrictions Should I Be Aware of?
It’s essential to do your research before planning a trip to any European country this summer, as we expect rules and restrictions to change frequently. Many countries still have mask mandates in place, and we anticipate that they’ll stay in place for the foreseeable future. We will continue to keep you updated with any changes to these restrictions as we know more information.
Will I Need a Vaccine Passport?
The European Union (EU) has plans to create a Digital Green Certificate, which will allow citizens of the EU to travel throughout their country and other EU countries. Though there is a whole lot of buzz about potential U.S. vaccine passports, the United States does not currently have a vaccine passport, and the Digital Green Certificate is not currently being offered to American citizens. So, as of May 19, 2021, American citizens will not need a vaccine passport to enter Europe.
What Precautions Should I Take While Traveling?
Whether you’re fully vaccinated or haven’t received your first shot, it’s crucial that you take precautions while traveling to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you include:
- Washing your hands
- Sanitizing your frequently touched items
- Keeping your distance from others
- Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth
- Being respectful to other people around you
Please do your research on any country you plan on visiting so that you can get yourself familiar with their mask policies and other COVID-19 mandates.
How Can I Obtain a Passport or Visa Right Now?
If you’re looking to obtain a passport or visa to travel to Europe this summer, our team at Swift Passport Services may be able to assist you. As of May 19, 2021, we can help with US passport renewals and visas for select countries only. Please contact us before sending in documentation for visas, as requirements and restrictions change frequently. For support with child, lost, or first-time passports, please visit travel.state.gov for further instruction.
If you are looking to have your passport or visa renewed, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We will be happy to assist you in any way that we can! As always, no matter where you plan on traveling to this summer, stay safe, stay healthy, and most of all, enjoy your trip!