Americans that have the itch to travel the world once again, the European Union has relaxed their COVID-19 guidelines, as more people are vaccinated.

Wednesday, the European Union agreed to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions, which will eventually allow vaccinated Americans to visit top destinations like Athens, London, Paris and Amsterdam.

Travel to Italy is also reopening for Americans who fly in from select US airports. These travelers would not have to quarantine if they are able to provide a negative COVID test either upon arrival or 48 hours before their trip.
Viking River Cruises announces their return to the water.

“Some of the world’s top destinations are reopening their doors, delighting both travelers and travel providers alike,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Announcements like these pave the way for the return to touring, river cruising, fine dining, museums, sightseeing and the other unforgettable travel memories we’ve all missed making over the past year.”

“Still, with so much pent-up travel demand and supply limited by important health precautions, it’s more important than ever to work with a travel advisor like the ones at AAA. Things are changing by the day, and these experts can help you navigate through any new restrictions or protocols that may be in place. Time is of the essence. If you’re thinking about heading to Europe, just remember, lots of other people are too.”

According to guidance by AAA, last week’s CDC decision to ease mask mandates in the US could create even more optimism among Americans, who were already motivated by widespread vaccinations. Because of this, travel volumes could exceed AAA’s initial forecast of 37 million American travelers this Memorial Day. However, travelers should know that Americans are still required to wear masks on public transportation like trains, planes and when traveling through airports.

In reporting by the Associated Press, the European Council made up of EU nations “will now recommend that member states ease some of the current restrictions” for those who have been vaccinated, European Commission spokesperson Christian Wigand said. He didn’t give a precise date for when the borders will reopen since EU countries have yet to formally approve the measures.

“The council should also soon expand the list of non-EU countries with a good epidemiological situation from where travel is permitted,” said Wigand. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is to give advice on the list.

“The U.S. has been a leader in many aspects of managing the pandemic but is behind our global competitors in pursuing an international economic reopening,” Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association president and CEO said. “The millions of travel-related U.S. jobs that were lost to the pandemic won’t come back on the strength of domestic travel alone, so identifying the path to restarting international visitation is essential to an overall economic recovery.”

People board a United Airlines Boeing 757 airplane at Palm Beach International Airport on February 15, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

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