European Union will let vaccinated Americans visit this summer - official

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FILE PHOTO: Tourists are pictured near Saint Mark's square in Venice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top European Union official said Sunday that Americans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should be able to travel to Europe by summer, easing existing travel restrictions.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told The New York Times that the union's 27 members would accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved" by the European Medicines Agency. The agency has approved the three vaccines used in the United States.

"The Americans, as far as I can see, use European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines," von der Leyen said. "This will enable free movement and travel to the European Union."

She did not say when travel could resume. The EU largely shut down nonessential travel more than a year ago.

European Union countries agreed this month to launch COVID-19 travel passes that would permit people who have been vaccinated against the disease, recovered from an infection or have tested negative to travel more easily.

(Reporting by Brad Heath; Editing by Daniel Wallis)