Will travellers vaccinated with AstraZeneca in Europe be able to enter the US?

While Washington has not authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19, a European commissioner on Monday expressed hope that travellers from the continent inoculated with the jab will soon be able to enter the United States.

Will travellers vaccinated with AstraZeneca in Europe be able to enter the US?
Photo: Christof Stache/AFP

The US government on Monday announced that starting November 1, it will lift the pandemic travel ban on all air passengers who are fully vaccinated and undergo testing and contact tracing.

The unprecedented travel restrictions had raised tensions between the United States and its European allies and had kept relatives, friends and business travelers around the world separated for many months as the pandemic grinds on.

In an interview in Washington with AFP, Thierry Breton, European commissioner for internal market, said the new order covers people vaccinated with jabs recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The agency has not approved the AstraZeneca shot used by many European nations, however, Breton said he spoke with White House pandemic response coordinator Jeff Zients who “sounded positive and optimistic.”

However, Zients told him that “for the other vaccines, for AstraZeneca in particular, their health agency would decide.”

Whether a decision would come by the November 1 when travel resumes, Zients “seemed positive on the dates, too,” said Breton, who coordinates the EU’s supply of Covid-19 vaccines.

Breton said the restrictions “no longer made any sense.”

Depite Europe’s relatively high vaccination rates “we are on the same restrictions as China, Iran, and other countries. It makes no sense at all,” he said.

The United States first imposed the restrictions as the pandemic began in March 2020 on travelers from the European Union, United Kingdom and China, later extending it to India and Brazil.

However, the availability of Covid-19 vaccines has made continuing the travel ban a point of transatlantic tension.

That worsened in recent days after Australia’s sudden announcement that it will acquire US-built nuclear submarines as part of a new defense alliance, ditching a contract with France for conventionally powered submarines.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Which Spanish regions have the cheapest holiday rentals this summer?

With accommodation prices skyrocketing this year, new data reveals where the cheapest holiday rentals are this summer, as well as the places filling up the fastest.

Which Spanish regions have the cheapest holiday rentals this summer?

Tourism in Spain is accelerating towards a record-breaking year in 2023. Spain already set a new record for tourism in April, welcoming 7.2 million international tourists and surpassing pre-pandemic levels. 

Spain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, predicts that Spain will receive even more this summer, between 52.3 and 54.8 million foreign tourists from May to October 2023.

READ ALSO: ‘Recovery is complete’ – Spain sets new record for tourism in April

Because of this, holiday rentals in many parts of the country are filling up fast, and prices are rising quickly.

Which are the cheapest regions?

Spanish holiday website Hildu has ranked the cheapest holiday rental prices by region, analysing both the seasonal prices and occupancy rates in different regions during the summer months.

According to the study, over the summer, the average rental price in Spain is around €172 per night, a 13 percent increase on prices last summer for the same dates. Spain has also already reached an 82 percent occupancy rate for the summer so far.

The high demand for holiday rentals, which could be anything from a private villa to a cosy flat in a charming old town, as opposed to a traditional hotel, is reflected in Holidu’s survey of 2,471 holiday homeowners.

The findings show that 52 percent of Spanish owners predict more reservations than last year and that 48 percent say that they will increase their prices this year.

READ ALSO: Where in Spain have hotel prices risen the most?

Of all the Spanish regions, the Canary Islands has the cheapest average rental prices. Holiday rents in the Atlantic archipelago cost €104 per night, on average.

Extremadura and Galicia come in joint second, with average prices of €105 per night.

Renting a place for a night in Murcia costs an average of €110 per night, while in Asturias and Castilla y León prices are €114 and €115 respectively.

Of the other regions, an average night’s stay in La Rioja costs €119; Aragón and Cantabria (€120), Navarre (€121), Castilla-La Mancha (€131), Valencia (€134) and Andalusia (€141).

Some of the most expensive regions to rent a holiday home this summer are Catalonia, the Basque Country and Madrid. Summer holiday rentals in Catalonia average €161 a night, while in the Basque Country they are €178 and Madrid €180 per night.

For the second consecutive year, the Balearic Islands are the most expensive Spanish tourist destination for holiday rentals, where stays cost around €253 per night for the summer season.

High occupancy

Many destinations all across Spain are already hitting 80 percent occupancy rates for the summer season.

Among the most reserved destinations for this summer, Catalonia and Valencia are already at 88 percent occupancy, followed by Madrid and the Balearic Islands, where the average occupancy is around 87 percent as of early June.

Andalusia, the Basque Country, Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León have all reached 85 percent occupancy, while in Cantabria it is 82 percent and the Canary Islands at 80 percent occupancy.

International visitors

As has been the case for decades, Spain is preparing to receive tourists from all over the world. According to Holidu, 66 percent of the total reservations for the summer months made so far are by Spaniards.

12 percent of reservations have come from Germany, eight percent from France, and four percent from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.