The United States’ Department of State has issued Do Not Travel warnings to 11 different EU member states. This means that 11 EU countries have received Level 4 warnings – the strictest warnings offered by the State Department – whilst the remaining 16 member states of the EU also find themselves with warnings on their travel advisory pages recommending that American travelers not to take trips to those destinations.
Whilst travel advisory warnings do not prevent a traveler from visiting a destination, they provide useful information that a traveler can use to decide if their travel to a certain destination is in their best interests – and they are set to become particularly useful when the travel restrictions ease next month. Here’s a look at which countries have which restrictions, what they mean and which destinations are deemed safest for American travelers at present.
EU Travel Warnings – Information For Travelers
The State Department’s travel advisory warning system is constantly updated in order to provide travelers with up to date information about the risks associated with visiting specific destinations around the world. Whilst they highlight a wide variety of risks – from terrorism to civil unrest – the past 18 months or so has seen Covid-19 emerge as the most significant factor when it comes to determining the safety of a country.
Level 4 – the strongest warning level – warns travelers “Do Not Travel” to a specific country. At present, there are 11 EU member states and one Schengen area country with the Do Not Travel warnings. They are as follows:
Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Being Level 4 means these countries are deemed to be amongst the least safe destinations for Americans to travel to, due to their high levels of Covid-19. The UK is also a Level 4 country, though it is no longer a member of the EU. Georgia, a country straddling Europe and Asia is also listed at Level 4.
The second highest warning level is Level 3. Travelers are advised to Reconsider Travel to any destinations that have been categorized as a Level 3 country. At present, there are 16 EU countries that have been handed a Level 3 travel warning. Those countries are:
Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden.
No EU member states have been handed Level 1 or 2 status, suggesting that there is still a significant threat of Covid-19 throughout the bloc.
Travel advisory warnings will be set to play a key part in the vacation decisions made by travelers in the coming month. From November 8th, restrictions between the US, the EU and the UK are set to be eased dramatically, which is expected to result in a rise in the number of travelers taking international flights. Whilst travelers aren’t legally prevented from visiting a Level 3 or Level 4 country, it can have implications for insurance policies, which could make some think twice about booking.
This is also a dilemma that Americans are facing when it comes to booking a vacation to other parts of the world. The Caribbean has also been decimated by Level 4 warnings, throwing its status as a holiday travel hotspot into doubt. Thankfully, there are some insurance providers that cover Level 4 countries.
For American travelers wanting to travel with complete peace of mind, there are some countries that have Level 1 status – though they aren’t exactly typical travel hotspots. Saba, Comoros, Montserrat, Bhutan, Senegal, Paraguay and Zambia are all Level 1 countries, whilst a handful of countries have been designated as Level 2.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com