The European Union (EU) said Wednesday it will soon allow vaccinated travelers to enter its borders after more than a year of strict bans that crippled the tourism industry there.
Officials said travellers will need need to be fully vaccinated by any of the shots that are approved for use in the 27-member bloc. That rule excludes travelers from countries that are administering Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, which has not been approved by the alliance.
Ambassadors from all member states agreed conditionally to lift the restrictions at a meeting on Wednesday.
EU officials didn’t specify exactly when the travel ban will be lifted.
The EU recommended that member states ease some of the current restrictions, especially in countries using EU-authorized vaccines. The bloc also urged member nations to expand their travel list to non-EU countries with a “good epidemiological situation.”
“This will help progressively resume international inbound travel where it’s possible to do so safely, while at the same time ensuring quick action to counter the spread of new virus variants,” an EU spokesman said.
Also Wednesday, EU member France began to allow restaurants, cafes and bars to reopen. The businesses had been closed for about six months under a strict national lockdown.Saudi Arabia has said it will open most public activities on Aug. 1 on the condition that visitors have been fully vaccinated. SOVEREIGNPH