The European Union on Thursday added Israel to the list of countries whose citizens will be allowed to visit for leisure, as Europe seeks to revive travel and salvage summer tourism from tough COVID-19 restrictions.
Reopening to Israeli tourists comes as the EU is moving to ease its current blanket ban on non-essential travel from foreign countries, with only a handful of exceptions, including New Zealand and Australia.
The EU’s executive arm has proposed EU nations join forces to develop and deploy COVID-19 treatments across the 27-nation bloc.
The European Commission said Thursday vaccines will not eradicate the coronavirus “overnight” and efficient drugs will still be required to treat patients in hospitals or at home, including those with long-haul symptoms after COVID-19.
The Commission wants to set up a portfolio of 10 potential COVID-19 treatments with the aim of authorizing three new drugs by October to treat COVID-19. The executive branch said two more treatments could get approved by the end of the year.
The Commission said it will invest 90 million euros ($108 million) in studies and clinical trials and an extra 40 million euros ($48 million) to support manufacturing and access for COVID-19 drugs and treatments.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this week that a quarter of all EU residents had received a first dose of coronavirus vaccine. She added that the bloc has secured enough doses to vaccinate 70% of all adults in the EU by the end of July.