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27 kwietnia 2021


Radio Gdansk News in English: EU to Reopen to Vaccinated Americans | V4 Stand With Czechia | Gowin: Possible Reopening of Economy in May

The European Union could be set to reopen to travellers from the United States soon, after more than a year-long travel ban.

Speaking in an interview with the New York Times over the weekend, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said fully vaccinated American tourists would be accepted in all 27 EU member states - Poland included.

Travelers would need to have had a full course of a vaccine authorised by the EU medicines regulator, the EMA. Currently, all three vaccines being used in the US are on that list, meaning all of the nearly 100 million fully vaccinated Americans will be able to visit the EU.

Travelers would also need a digital certificate - or "vaccine passport" - to confirm they have been vaccinated.

The news comes just in time for the summer travel season, with hopes a lockdown-free summer could bring some relief the Europe's stricken tourism industry.

The Prime Ministers of Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary have condemned what they call "disproportionate measures" by Russia in an ongoing spat with the Czech Republic.

The spat began earlier this month when Czech intelligence services claimed to have linked Russia to an explosion at an ammunition warehouse outside Prague in 2014. The Czech government expelled 18 Russian diplomats supposedly identified as spies, triggering a tit-for-tat response from Moscow, with 20 Czech diplomats sent home.

The row has since escalated, with another 60 Russian diplomats expelled by Prague last week.

Yesterday's meeting of premiers from Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, and Hungary - which together make up the V4, or Visegrad Group - was called the discuss the ongoing spat.

The other members of the group all expressed solidarity and support for the Czech government and condemned Russia's response.

Poland's Deputy Prime Minister has said the country could reopen its economy by the end of next month.

Speaking at a meeting of Poland's Entrepreneurship Council in Poznan on Monday, Deputy PM Jaroslaw Gowin said restrictions should be lifted by the end of May, with some being lifted as early as next week.

Gowin added that those who have been fully vaccinated should have access to all types of services.

According to Deputy PM Gowin - who is also Minister for Development, Labour, & Technology - the Polish economy could be fully reopened by late May thanks to the acceleration of the country's vaccination programme.

The minister also said the government was looking at the possibility of reopening some retail and open-air gastronomy after the May holidays this weekend.

It's now less than one month until Gdansk hosts the final of the Europa League.

Just four teams are left in the running: Spain's Villareal, Italy's Roma, and two teams from the English Premier League - London's Arsenal and Manchester United.

The bookies' favourite is an EPL showdown - Man United facing Arsenal - with Manchester v Villareal not far behind.

The grand final is set for May 26th at Gdansk City Stadium, formerly known as Energa Stadium and PGE Stadium.

It remains to be seen if spectators will be allowed, but plans to reopen the economy and the pace of vaccinations has raised hopes that football fans could be there to cheer on the finalists.

Mostly cloudy going into this afternoon but clearing up as we move towards the evening.

Highs today of 7C, 44F, with a light wind from from the north keeping things feeling chilly for this time of year.

Radio Gdansk News / TAH