Why is traveling to and from Europe taboo in Canada?
The European Union will open this summer to travellers from the United States who will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The vaccination rate in the United States, and the advanced talks between the US government and the European Union on how to make vaccination certificates acceptable as evidence of immunity for visitors, will allow the European Commission to change its policy and restore transatlantic tourism travel.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Sunday in Brussels that thanks to the fact that Americans use vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), it will allow them to move and travel freely to the European Union. According to her, all 27 member states will unconditionally accept those who have been vaccinated with EMA-approved vaccines that are used in the US.
Von der Leyen did not provide the exact date when it will be possible to travel from the USA to Europe, but her statements are a statement of the highest level that the current travel restrictions are to be changed based on vaccination certificates.
She stressed that the United States would make enormous progress towards obtaining the so-called herd immunity if they manage to vaccinate 70% of adults by mid-June.
Tourism diplomats in Europe, led by Greece, have been touting for many weeks that determining a safe country of origin based on only a low number of Covid-19 cases is quickly becoming inadequate to the situation when the rate of vaccination in the United States, United Kingdom, and some other countries is taken into account.
At present, the situation in Poland, for example, is such that mainly people aged 30 and 40 arrive at intensive care units (ICU) in hospitals due to complications of Covid-19. Medical staff, seniors, as well as people from nursing homes, have already been vaccinated since January. Poland also plans to have the so-called herd immunity before the upcoming summer holidays through vaccination of the majority of the adult population.
In the initial stage of opening up to travel and tourism, the European Union will approve simple solutions and certificates confirming vaccination. For example, a tourist travelling to Europe will be able to receive the equivalent of a vaccination certificate at the border after showing a certificate from his / her country about the vaccination. Soon, however, such state vaccination certificates will be issued that will be acceptable and readable by the European Union and the United States, as well as other countries introducing similar solutions.
Where is Canada?
The European Union has already started the process of supplying its citizens with “digital green certificates” that will certify that the holder has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has recovered from the disease in recent months or has been tested negative for the virus in the last few days.
Europeans will be able to use these certificates to travel without any restrictions, at least within their bloc of 27 member states.
Individual countries will be able to maintain restrictions or have quarantines for visitors from outside the EU bloc.
Greece intends to open its borders to US travellers starting Monday, provided they show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result upon arrival.
At what stage, if at all, are the talks between our government and the European Union on the subject of travelling to and from Europe?
Why is talking about introducing an exception for tourist/family trips to and from European Union countries, on a reciprocal basis, a taboo topic in Canada?
Summer is getting closer, and decisions should be made soon.