The European Union is reopening to fully vaccinated international travelers. New York should follow suit: Tourists are crucial to the city’s recovery, and it’s nuts to exclude those who’ve been jabbed now that the state’s lifted most pandemic restrictions.
Ambassadors from all 27 EU nations Wednesday OK’d the opening because European leaders realize the summer tourist season is vital for their devastated economies.
Pre-pandemic, tourism brought $46 billion a year in spending and 280,000 jobs to New York City. The virus and lockdowns disappeared $35 billion of that spending and 90,000 of those jobs, per state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Global travelers are a huge chunk of that, but city officials fear it’ll take four years to get them all back.
In his Jan. 25 executive order barring visitors from the United Kingdom and much of the EU, President Joe Biden wrote, “It is the policy of my Administration to implement science-based public health measures, across all areas of the Federal Government, to prevent further spread of the disease.”
But there’s no science-based reason to keep fully vaxxed visitors out now: The vaccines work. That’s why cases and deaths are plummeting.
If the eternally indecisive EU can reopen its doors to the vaccinated, so can New York City. Thousands of livelihoods depend on it.