Oil Turns Higher As EU Looks To Welcome Vaccinated Tourists

Oil prices recouped earlier losses and were rising by more than 1 percent on Monday morning, after the European Union unveiled a plan to open its borders to vaccinated tourists, giving more hope to oil bulls that economies and oil demand are set for a rebound in the summer months.

As of 10:28 a.m. EDT on Monday, WTI Crude was trading up 1.46 percent at $64.47, and Brent Crude prices had risen by 1.26 percent at $67.57.

Oil prices erased earlier losses in Asian trade, which had reflected the still critical situation with the coronavirus in India. The world’s third-largest oil importer reported more than 300,000 new COVID-19 cases for the 12th day in a row on Monday, while reports are that the number of infections and the death toll may be underreported.

Later on Monday, however, the European Commission said it was proposing to ease restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU while addressing variants through a new ‘emergency brake’ mechanism. The Commission proposes that the EU allow entry for non-essential travel for anyone who has received the last dose of an EU-approved vaccine at least two weeks before arrival.

The Council must now consider the proposal of the European Commission, with discussions starting as early as on Tuesday.

“Time to revive EU tourism industry and for cross-border friendships to rekindle—safely,” the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted on Monday.

“We propose to welcome again vaccinated visitors & those from countries with a good health situation. But if variants emerge, we have to act fast: we propose an EU emergency brake mechanism,” von der Leyen added.

The hope that Europe could salvage this summer’s holiday season and start welcoming non-EU travelers again for vacations is bullish news for oil prices, as travel, especially jet travel, is set to increase. Economies will benefit as people have been waiting for a year to travel quarantine-free and spend money on and during vacations.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com