EU member states agreed to add the U.S. to its safe travel list during a meeting Wednesday in Brussels, allowing Americans to travel to the bloc for nonessential reasons, reports Reuters.
Why it matters: The EU banned nonessential travel from the U.S. last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as American vaccinations increase, the EU is easing up, per CNBC.
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"The EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism or border policy, but has been working for months on a joint digital travel certificate for those vaccinated, freshly tested, or recently recovered from the virus. EU lawmakers endorsed the plan last week," NPR writes.
The big picture: The EU's expansion of its safe travel list includes seven other territories as well — Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.
The recommendation is nonbinding and individual countries can still decide to require a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine period, per Reuters.
Of note: The omission of the U.K. was a "notable absence," but the decision was made due to a recent rise in coronavirus cases there driven by the variant first discovered in India, according to CNBC.
What's next: The change will be formalized on Friday, AP reports.
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