EU Could Open by Summer

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European leaders will meet in Brussels this week.

The European Union’s (EU) executive has announced plans to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions next month to allow vaccinated people from additional countries, including the US, to gain entry by this summer.

Currently, vaccinated and unvaccinated people from just seven countries, including Australia and Singapore, can enter the EU, and must submit to tests or quarantine. This new proposal from the European Commission, which requires approval by the EU’s 27 member states, would open up to fully vaccinated foreign citizens and those from countries with a “good epidemiological situation.”

According to Bloomberg, member states would be obliged to accept proof for all shots approved in the EU, including those produced by Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE, AstraZeneca Plc, Moderna, Inc and Johnson & Johnson.

The proposal could be adopted as soon as the end of May, and EU member-state representatives will convene in Brussels later this week to discuss the specifics. Some members nations, including Greece, Spain and France, have already voiced their approval of opening up to guests who can present proof of a vaccination.

The current blanket ban for non-essential travel to the EU has been in place for more than a year.

“Time to revive tourism industry and for cross-border friendships to rekindle – safely,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.