(CNN) — Almost a year after closing its borders, the European Union agreed to allow entry to travelers vaccinated against covid-19 from countries with low infection rates, increasing the possibility of summer getaways to the continent.
The long-awaited move was confirmed on Wednesday when the EU published its recommendations to lift travel restrictions on the bloc.
An approved list of “safe” destinations will be signed this week, although there is no confirmation yet as to when these changes will be implemented.
Member states are believed to have the final decision on what measures to impose, meaning that some could still choose to keep quarantine measures in place, while others may request negative PCR tests and / or proof of vaccination.
Officials are said to be optimistic that the new rules will take effect in June, providing a much-needed boost to the tourism industry as summer kicks in. However, the plans allow for an “emergency brake” in case infection rates rise again.
Emergency brake option
A European Union official told CNN that the bloc will take reciprocity into account when drawing up its list, but the recommendations suggest that countries with fewer than 75 cases per 100,000 inhabitants will be included.
A formal adoption of the recommendations, which are not legally binding on member states, is expected to take place on Thursday.
The proposals were first published by the European Union earlier this month after Greece, a member of the bloc, announced that it would welcome international travelers fully vaccinated or tested for covid-19.
“Member states could also extend this to those vaccinated with a vaccine who have completed the WHO emergency use listing process,” added an official statement.
He noted that, to be allowed entry, travelers should have been vaccinated with EU-approved vaccines at least two weeks before their trip.
Entry restrictions to Greece were officially relaxed on May 14, allowing vaccinated travelers or those with a negative result from a covid-19 PCR test taken more than 72 hours before arrival.
Iceland, a member state of the European Economic Area, opened its borders to vaccinated travelers in April.
Croatia also welcomes vaccinated travelers, as well as those who present a negative PCR test or proof that they have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days, and no less than 11 days prior to arrival.
Earlier this month, Cyprus reopened to vaccinated travelers from 65 countries, including the US and the UK, while Portugal began allowing visitors from England, Scotland and Wales after being added to the ‘ Green »from countries in the UK where travel without quarantine is allowed.
Further details of the “Digital Green Certificate” have not yet been provided, which will be required as proof of vaccination or immunity for travelers entering the borders of the European Union.
The EU Commission previously stated that the certificate will confirm that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has received a negative test result, or has recovered from COVID-19.
CNN’s Sharon Braithwaite, Stephanie Halasz and James Frater contributed to the report.