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Ireland and Croatia Are Staying Open For U.S. Travelers

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Earlier this week, the EU officially recommended new restrictions on U.S. travelers due to rising cases.

Since the recommendation, it's been a mixed reaction from the EU member states. Italy was the first country to introduce new rules, while Ireland and Croatia say they will not impose new restrictions on American travelers.

Ireland and Croatia Will Not Impose Restrictions On American Travelers

Recap – EU Recommends New Restrictions On American Travelers

On Monday, the EU officially removed the U.S. from its safe list due to a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in recent months.

This is only a recommended guidance (not mandatory), so individual countries/member states will each determine their guidelines for U.S. travelers and visitors from other nations.

Croatia Refuses To Implement EU Recommendations


In a meeting of interior ministers held in Brussels, the Croatian Minister, Davor Božinović, said that his country would not follow the EU’s recommendations.

“This is a recommendation. There have been situations before when Croatia did not follow the EU recommendations, so when it comes to American citizens, it will not this time either. We know that Americans mostly come to us as tourists, which means that they have met all the epidemiological conditions for coming,” 

To enter Croatia, travelers must present either proof of vaccination, a negative PCR or antigen test performed within 72 hours of departure, or proof of recovery.

Beautiful sunset over city of Rovinj, Istria, Croatia

Croatia was the first country in Europe to set an expiry date for the vaccination certificate, for 210 days after the traveler was vaccinated with the second shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, so any travelers using proof of vaccination for entry should be aware of this.

Croatia has always beat to the tune of its own drum in regard to entry requirements and has rarely taken the advice of the EU. American travelers have been allowed to enter Croatia for non-essential travel throughout the pandemic, a great contrast to many of its fellow EU nations. This has put Croatia on the map for many US-based tourists, turning Croatia into an extremely popular hot-spot destination.

Ireland Will Not Tighten Restrictions For U.S. Travelers

The Irish government has said that it will not reinstate travel restrictions on travelers from the United States.

The Department of Health indicated that Ireland will not make the move to change rules based on the EU Council vote, stating that this vote was within the Schengen framework, “and therefore Ireland did not take part in its adoption.”

cliffs of moher

“Furthermore, the EU recommendation is non-binding and Member States retain control over their own border restrictions,” the department said.

Ireland opened up to American travelers in July. The current entry requirements for Ireland are a passenger locator form, and proof of vaccination or recovery.

If travelers cannot provide proof, they are required to present a negative PCR test taken with 72 hours and quarantine for 14 days which can be shortened upon receipt of a negative PCR test taken from day five onwards after arrival into the country.


Portugal Will Remain Open

Along with Ireland and Croatia, Portugal also says they will remain open to U.S. tourists. All U.S. visitors must present a negative COVID test, take 48 hours prior to departure. 

“Portugal has confirmed that discretionary, non-essential travel is still allowed, provided visitors present a negative COVID-19 test result at boarding and entry into the country”

azoores portugal

Which EU Countries Are Imposing Restrictions?

While some countries are remaining open to American travelers, several are tightening travel restrictions in light of the new guidance.

Italy was the first country to put stricter restrictions on US travelers. Travelers are now required to provide a PCR or antigen test before reaching the country regardless of vaccination status, along with a digital entry form.

venice italy

Bulgaria announced it would move the U.S. into its “red zone” and prohibit travel from the United States. As of Wednesday, all people from the U.S., regardless of vaccination status, cannot enter Bulgaria. 

Before the recommendation, Germany added the U.S. to its “high-risk” travel list and Czechia tightened restrictions on U.S. travelers, with unvaccinated travelers no longer permitted to visit the country for non-essential reasons such as tourism.

Any American travelers with a trip booked for Europe should keep a careful eye on changing entry requirements over the next days/weeks as more EU countries announce their rules.

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Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Hi! US citizens can travel to Bulgaria still if they are not coming directly from the US, is that right? I read in other articles that regardless of citizenship, you may enter Bulgaria if you are not traveling from a red zone country (like the US) and are vaccinated. Thank you!


Thursday 2nd of September 2021

@Kashlee Kucheran, just saw this response, ignore the double comment I just posted lol.

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 2nd of September 2021

Every EU nation is different, but yes, most will allow third-party foreigners like Americans if they have spent the past 14 days in a 'safe list' country.