COVID-19: EU mulls resumption of travels

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THE leaders of Europe are looking to take further steps towards recovery with a proposal to revive international travel and tourism as early as next month.

  For this, the European Commission yesterday proposed that travellers who are fully vaccinated with EU-approved shots — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca — should be allowed to enter the bloc if they are coming from countries where COVID-19 is under control.

  Among the European governments hoping for a post-pandemic tourism boom is Greece, which has reopened outdoor dining after six months of closures.

  On Monday, the outdoor terraces in the trendy Kolonaki district of Athens filled up with customers.

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  “I haven’t worked in six months,” said Yannis Karagiannakis, a waiter. “I was going around in circles, was depressed.”

But in a sign that the pandemic is not yet over in Europe, Germany cancelled its world-famous Oktoberfest beer festival for a second year running.

  Americans are among those eyeing possible European vacations this summer, with more than 100 million people in the United States now fully vaccinated and US media reporting that authorities were expected to authorise the Pfizer shot for children aged 12 and up.

  The successful drive has allowed authorities in many parts of the world’s biggest economy to start relaxing curbs, including New York and Florida.

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