Travel from the United States to Europe could become a little more complicated from today as the US is set to be removed from the so-called “white list” of countries from which non-essential travel is permitted.
The white list is made up of countries from outside the European Union that have low COVID-19 infection rates and are therefore considered safe. Residents from white list countries are permitted to enjoy quarantine-free travel to and within the EU without additional restrictions such as testing.
The US was added to the white list on June 18 after reporting a decreasing trend in COVID-19 case numbers, and Americans have been able to travel around some European countries with relative ease this summer—much in the same way that EU residents have. However, that will change from today as the US and five other countries are to be removed from the white list.
US tourists have been able to enjoy relatively hassle-free trips to Europe this summer ©Ivan Nesterov/Alamy Stock Photo
The move comes as the US surpasses the white list limit of 75 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 over a 14-day period, with hospitalizations across the country increasing too. This means that the EU can now instruct its 27 member states to reimpose a travel ban on US visitors, and American tourists may no longer be eligible to travel there restriction-free.
How does this impact your trip to Europe?
The proposals are not binding and it’s up to each individual country to decide whether or not to impose them. Even before the US was added to the white list some EU countries, such as Greece and Croatia, were already permitting Americans to travel to their countries for tourism purposes without restrictions. Others, such as Ireland and Portugal, continued to impose restrictions on the US even after its inclusion on the list.
The latest proposals may have little impact on your trip, depending on your destination ©Getty Images
So despite the latest recommendations, should they be implemented, it’s likely some countries may decide to keep permitting tourists from the US if they can prove they have been vaccinated. Others may require additional testing or quarantine periods.
If you have a trip to an EU country booked and are unsure how the suggested restrictions will affect your trip, be sure to check in with the US embassy of your destination. Each embassy website has a dedicated COVID-19 information page with country-specific information on testing, vaccination and quarantine rules, as well as the latest entry and exit requirements for Americans.
The other countries set to be removed from the white list include Israel, Lebanon, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia. All five have recently reported an increasing number of coronavirus cases within recent weeks.
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The post EU recommends reimposing travel ban on US tourists – here’s what that means for your trip
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