When the European Union opened to visitors on July 1 after months of coronavirus lockdowns, the U.S. didn’t make the list of 14 countries allowed tourist entry. The E.U.’s calculus was complicated; in short, it aims to reduce the risk of COVID spikes.
Why can’t U.S. citizens go to Europe?
Americans dropped $144 billion on tourism in 2018, making them the world’s biggest travel spenders after the Chinese. When they decide to go abroad, some 15 million of them choose Europe, mostly in the sunny summer. This means those new restrictions may protect European lives, but they will also severely affect the tourism industry across the continent.
Europe’s door isn’t permanently locked—its members will reevaluate border policies every two weeks. But closed borders, cautious reopenings, and the WHO’s June 30 statement that “the worst is yet to come” are much-needed cautionary reminders for all travelers.
The European Council released its approved list of 14 countries whose citizens could, starting July 1, enter the E.U.’s borders and travel within its 27 member states, as well as to the Schengen-associated nations of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland (a.k.a. “the E.U.+”). The U.S. wasn’t included in either the final 14 or the 54 countries first considered.
To close: if you’re an American traveler, you won’t be going on that biking trip through Tuscany or munching croissants in Paris. At least not this summer.
The good news – according to NatGeo – at least for Americans with wanderlust: U.S. passport holders can still visit multiple countries in the Caribbean, many states in Mexico (though its land border remains closed), and several farther-flung locales. Canada remains on the no-entry list.