The European Union announced on Monday that it will remove the United States from its list of safe countries, with room for individual member states to make exceptions for fully vaccinated travelers. The recommendations include that nations of the EU reimpose travel restrictions for visitors from the U.S.
New Guidance From The EU
Officials of the EU removed the U.S. from its safe list due to a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in recent months.
As stated on their website, the Council decided to update temporary travel restrictions for 5 nations: “Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on nonessential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted.”
Other nations removed from the safe list include Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and the Republic of North Macedonia.
To make the safe travel list, a country should have, “a stable or decreasing trend of new Covid cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days.” The EU’s list is reviewed and updated every two weeks.
EU Member States To Make Their Own Restrictions
Following today’s announcement, travel restrictions can be set on a country by country basis. While this is only the recommended guidance (not mandatory) from the European Union, individual countries/member states are yet to update their guidelines for U.S. travelers and visitors from other nations. So until then, U.S. passport holders are still allowed to travel to a number of countries in Europe.
In the press release, the Council mentioned keeping restrictions eased for fully vaccinated travelers. It was stated that these temporary travel restrictions,”is is without prejudice to the possibility for member states to lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travellers.”
Travelers would have to be fully inoculated against the Covid-19 virus by one of the approved vaccines for travel according to the EU guidance, which includes: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson.
Testing Or Quarantine Could Be Part Of New Restrictions
If new restrictions were to come for U.S. travelers, it’s possible that the regulations will be in the form of pre-entry or on arrival Covid tests in order to travel to certain countries throughout the EU. In other words, travel to Europe will not necessarily be outright banned.
Other potential travel restrictions could include self-isolation or quarantine upon arrival.
What This Means For U.S. Travelers Who Want To Visit Europe
The EU makes up 27 nations in Europe, so please note that these new recommendations don’t apply to every country throughout the continent. You can read more about where U.S. travelers can visit in this post.
Tightening Restrictions For U.S. Travelers: Germany, Czechia
This wasn’t the first shift in travel restrictions for U.S. Americans in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Germany added the U.S. to its “high-risk” travel list. And last week, Czechia tightened restrictions on U.S. travelers, with unvaccinated travelers no longer permitted to visit the country for non-essential reasons such as tourism.
After months of closed borders, the European Union eased restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. from this past May, and the United States was added to the EU’s safe list for travel in June.
International Travelers To The U.S.
According to the most recent guidance, travelers from Europe cannot visit the U.S. for non-essential purposes. The United States is yet to update its restrictions for international travelers.
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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