American Travel Ban Slowly Lifts from Europe

Anne-Laure+Mostacero+and+her+son%2C+Timothee%2C+19%2C+are+checked+in+for+their+Covid-19+tests+at+Doctors+Test+Centers+at+Chicago%27s+O%27Hare+International+Airport+on+Thursday%2C+May+20%2C+2021.+The+family+was+getting+tested+a+day+prior+to+their+flight+to+Spain.+They+are+moving+from+Deerfield+to+Barcelona.

Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Anne-Laure Mostacero and her son, Timothee, 19, are checked in for their Covid-19 tests at Doctors Test Centers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Thursday, May 20, 2021. The family was getting tested a day prior to their flight to Spain. They are moving from Deerfield to Barcelona.

Julian Concepcion, Staff Photographer

On May 19, the European Union approved the proposal on lifting travel restrictions from the United States to the majority of the countries in Europe. This will take into effect in summer of 2021, and will apply to everyone that is fully vaccinated. This is big news for people seeking to leave the country this summer and travel. 

In 2020, traveling the world over the summer was all but a fantasy for most Americans. COVID was hitting its peak due to irresponsible travelers and tourists, so leaving the house for something as small as grocery shopping was considered a risk. But now, places are finally opening up and people are feeling comfortable leaving their homes again.

“It’s about time,” said sophomore Sienna Alonso. “I’m sure that my parents are just raring to go now that they’re vaccinated, but what makes me happier is seeing that the world is finally recovering. How else would the travel ban be lifted if not for global recovery?” 

This does go to show that many things are slowly, but surely, reverting back to how they used to be. Masks are becoming a voluntary precaution in certain public locations, as long as individuals are fully vaccinated. 

“I honestly have mixed feelings about the whole matter. Well, I’m glad that the travel ban is being lifted, and how that shows change in the United States in regards to the pandemic, I can’t help but be worried about the possibility that there will be another outbreak,” said junior Emma-Grace Delvillar. “I would hate for schools to close again and to spend another year, specifically my last one, virtually.”

Travel reopenings do bring forth concern about the future. If restrictions are lifted, then the chances of an outbreak starting up again are sure to rise. But at the same time, the rules and regulations in place for travel to go through should drastically reduce those chances.  

“I’m not really sure which side to take,” said junior Bruno Idarraga. “On one hand, travel is opening up again, and taking a vacation this summer looks probable. But on the other hand, I might just end up bringing the virus home and putting my family and friends at risk.” 

It is true that during these still uncertain times, little decisions like these could bring forth serious consequences. With knowledge on exactly how the virus spreads still being somewhat limited, many continue to consider it best to hold off this summer from traveling to Europe if it means potentially putting others at risk.