Latest Travel Restrictions In Europe & The US

Tourism and other non-essential travel to Europe will be more difficult for Americans. As a result of a deteriorating health situation, travel between these continents once again. Since June 18, 2020, Europe has been a preferred destination for international travelers.

New EU Travel Restrictions

Six nations have been removed from the EU’s list of safe travel destinations as of August 30, 2021:

  • Macedonia
  • United States
  • Montenegro
  • Israel
  • Lebanon
  • Kosovo

Italy, France, and Spain are among the Schengen Agreement member-nations affected by this removal.

Due to the Delta variant and other variants taxing healthcare systems around the world, the United States and other nations are off the list. Another potential cause for the pullback is that the U.S. has not yet lifted the travel restrictions for visiting Europeans for non-essential purposes.  

Is It Possible For Americans To Fly To Europe?

The EU still allows American citizens to travel to Europe even if they are no longer listed as safe travels. For non-citizens, each EU nation can still set its own entry requirements. Nevertheless, countries that allow Americans and other international tourists now may soon adopt stricter requirements.

As an example, the EU press release of August 30, 2021, mentions that nations may waive the vaccination requirements for fully vaccinated travelers.

Certain activities like visiting tourist attractions and eating indoors are already required by the European Union. France, Iceland, Italy (starting September 1, 2021), and Germany are among these countries.

Is It Worth Flying To Europe This Fall?

If the health situation doesn’t continue to deteriorate, Europe is unlikely to close its borders to tourism entirely. The tourist, on the other hand, can book a flight late instead of in advance.

Now that this travel advice has been released in Europe, the best advice can be to wait and see how it affects your preferred destination. If you are planning to visit a country with relatively low transmission risk, following the CDC’s international travel advisories can also be helpful.

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You may also want to visit one country at a time, as every country has its own entry requirements and to prevent a possible self-quarantine.   

Latest Travel Requirements

Since the European Union has 27 member states, each one will approach reopening in its own way. 

There Are Different Requirements For Each Country

For example, Greece allows all qualified travelers to enter if they have filled out a Passenger Locator Form and have either: a negative PCR test (taken up to 72 hours prior to their arrival), proof of recovery from COVID-19, or proof of vaccination. 

In contrast, other countries have much stricter immigration policies. For instance, France will only allow vaccinated travelers if the test results are negative, and those who have not been vaccinated must present a compelling reason and undergo quarantine. 

You should research which countries you intend to visit beforehand due to these distinct differences. 

What Vaccines Have Been Approved For EU Travel?

After hearing the news of the EU reopening, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, declared that the 27 member states are willing to accept everyone who has been vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine.

EMA – Approved Vaccines

These are the vaccines approved by the EMA at the moment:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Johnson & Johnson

While the European Medicines Agency has currently approved four vaccines, more could soon be approved as the agency is currently investigating and testing other vaccines. 

EU Vaccine Passports

The advent of vaccine passports has been one of the biggest developments in European tourism. As part of these so-called ‘travel passes,’ travelers or locals will be required to show they are vaccinated, have recovered from the Coronavirus, or have proof that they have tested negative. 

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Many countries have their own version of COVID certificates, including Poland, Japan, Denmark, Australia, and more are following suit.  

These digital passes are even being implemented in some countries. France recently passed a law requiring people to show their COVID health passes whenever they entered a restaurant, nightclub, cafe, or took a long-distance train. 

Vaccination passports say, tourism experts, will simplify travel in the future because they can ensure seamless border crossings, save time during passport control, and indicate a person’s COVID-19 status quickly. 

The EU’s Updated Pandemic Guidelines for the Member States

The European Union promotes the implementation of a coordinated travel approach during pandemics: individual Member States have used European Union entry restrictions as a basis for their travel restrictions. Each member state is free, however, to set its own restrictions for foreign visitors.

Three key areas are addressed in the latest guidelines:

  • Criteria for imposing travel restrictions across the entire bloc
  • Maps of high-risk areas are being updated with color codes
  • Public access to clear, current information

EU officials recommend applying the proposed entry requirements to non-EU citizens of member states as well as EU citizens traveling to other EU countries for non-essential purposes.

Updated EU Colour-coded Covid-19 Map 

As part of its international surveillance activities, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) maintains a map that color codes regions of the world based on health risks. Approximately 14 days’ worth of notifications is sent per 100,000 people.

Globally, areas are categorized into orange, green, dark red, grey, or red. In the past few months, dark red has been applied to countries that have a 14-day notification rate of 500 or more per 100,000 people.

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The EU Member States can use the map to establish entry requirements, such as testing and quarantine for travelers from around the world.

Covid-19 Testing Requirement For Europe Travel

To prevent the spread of Coronavirus across borders, individuals are required to have a negative Coronavirus test before traveling to Europe.

A measure supported by the EU is compulsory COVID testing for travelers.

As a result of these EU guidelines, more and more countries in Europe require the COVID-19 test for entrance.

Check with the specific requirements of the EU Member State you wish to visit to see whether a test is required and what kinds of tests are accepted.

Testing requirements for travel to Europe protect public health as well as reduce the risk of people getting COVID-19: travelers with negative results should travel to Europe.

Bottom Line

Vaccinated travelers are being welcomed by Europe again as its borders open cautiously. There are, however, rules and restrictions that all visitors to the European Union must follow.

In the EU, visitors who have been vaccinated against COVID are now welcome from a list of COVID-safe countries and regions. There are several of them, including Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer (BioNTech).

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