European Union reopens to American travelers

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June 18 (UPI) — The European Council on Friday announced that countries in the European Union could gradually lift travel restrictions on several nations, including the United States.

EU member states Greece and Spain were already allowing entry to U.S. travelers showing proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or negative tests for the virus. Now the other 25 countries in the bloc can reopen.

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Each will determine its own restrictions, including whether vaccination proof or testing is required.

Europe is a popular destination for Americans, accounting for some 36 million trips in 2019 before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted restrictions. The European Travel Commons reported an increase of 7% in American tourists in 2019.

Last year, the number of flights between the United States and EU countries decreased to 6.6 million.Other countries now allowed to travel to the EU include Albania, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China.

The United Kingdom, which left the EU when “Brexit” was ratified last January, was not on the list. The EU noted restrictions on travel to the U.K. will be reviewed every two weeks.