Much like Americans are fortunate enough to live in a country that offers travel experiences, seasons and destinations for all types of travelers, EU citizens are free to enjoy all Europe has to offer this summer, following the decision to allow cross-border travel. Yet whilst those from Spanish beach towns are free to kayak between Nordic fjords, and those from the Alps can soak up the sun on Greek islands, there’s one destination that EU can’t yet visit – and that’s the US.
Despite the EU relaxing its rules to allow US travelers into the bloc, the US hasn’t reciprocated the move – and does not look like doing it any time soon. Here’s the latest on this story, and whether American travelers need to worry about the lack of reciprocity costing them.
American Restrictions On EU Citizens – What Travelers Should Know
Despite US citizens now being allowed to visit more and more destinations, the country itself is holding firm on its travel restrictions in a bid to prevent importing more cases of Covid-19 across its borders. As a result, travelers from several countries are prohibited from entering the US.
Passengers who have been present in the following countries in the 14-days prior to their attempted arrival in the US will not be permitted to enter. The countries are:
- European Schengen area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City)
- United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
- Republic of Ireland
- South Africa
A diplomat on behalf of the EU has called on the US to safely ease the current restrictions placed on Europeans. Speaking at a trade event, Stavros Lambrinidis explained that the EU was working day and night to resolve the situation, before adding that the situation “had to end,” and that the EU and the US should be able to “kickstart our economies again, together.” The current situation means that whilst EU citizens living in the US are allowed to visit their families back home, they cannot then return to the US, regardless of vaccination status.
This call was echoed by the senior vice president for European Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Marjorie Chorlins, who said:
“We call on the Administration to reciprocate and allow for the return of European travelers to the United States as soon as possible. The resumption of safe transatlantic travel is critically important for our nation’s economic recovery, as in-person business engagements and international tourism will help drive economic growth and job creation for Americans across the country.”
The World Travel and Tourism Council states that as many as 2 million jobs could be created across the US if international travel reopened, giving the country added impetus to ease their restrictions sooner rather than later.
However, the situation looks unlikely to improve in the near future, following comments made by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Speaking last night, Blinken said that lifting restrictions right now would be “premature,” before adding “We are anxious to be able to restore travel as fully and quickly as possible. I can’t put a date on it, we have to be guided by the science, by medical expertise.”
Unlike other countries, the US’s inclusion on the EU’s safe travel list was not “subject to reciprocity”, meaning they can enjoy the one-way travel for the foreseeable future without worrying about the EU’s decision being reversed.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories