“As far as I can see, Americans are using vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency,” said von der Leyen, according to the Times report. “This will enable freedom of movement and travel to the European Union.”
Von der Leyen did not provide a schedule of when exactly tourist trips might open, or details of how they would take place, according to the report.
The European Union suspended all non-essential travel to the block more than a year ago to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Andy Slavitt, senior advisor to Covid-19 at the White House, said von der Leyen’s comments were an endorsement of the U.S. vaccination program.
“What the world is basically saying is, they look to the US, they look to the success of our vaccination program, they look to disease reduction, and even though they know we aren’t done yet, they say these Americans are safe can come to our country without the risk of spreading Covid-19, “Slavitt told CNN’s Pamela Brown.
“Think about it. This is incredible,” said Slavitt. “Just a few months ago we were the nation in the world cut off the most from travel. That just goes to show the incredible months in which we Americans vaccinated.”
Being able to visit EU countries is just one of the regained freedoms awaiting fully vaccinated Americans, Slavitt said.
“I think we’re going to find more and more things like this, both internationally and Pam, in the US. I think you will see increasing steps over the next few weeks about what vaccinated Americans can do.” In addition to just traveling – because not all of us travel – that will be very important, “he said.
“There is no question that the key to returning to the life we used to know is vaccination,” said Slavitt.
CNN has asked the EU Commission for an opinion.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows roughly 28% of Americans are now fully vaccinated – that is, it’s been two weeks since their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or a week since their Johnson & Johnson single shot passed vaccine.