Individual countries may still set own travel rules
After a summer of European adventures for American travelers, the E.U. is removing the U.S. from its “safe list” of countries whose citizens it recommends may travel freely throughout the 27-nation bloc. The U.S. has surpassed the level 75 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days that the E.U. deems acceptable for inclusion on the safe list.
Also removed were Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia. The E.U.’s recommendations are not binding on individual member countries, which are free to set their own rules for welcoming international visitors.
“This is without prejudice to the possibility for member states to lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travelers,” the E.U. announcement said.
The U.S. made the safe list in June, marking the first time since March 2020 that Americans could head to most countries in the bloc for leisure travel. The U.S. did not reciprocate, keeping restrictions on visitors from the E.U. The safe list is reviewed and, if applicable, updated every two weeks, so should case levels fall in the U.S. with the introduction of vaccine mandates or other measures, Americans can get back on the safe list.
As individual E.U. members can set their own rules, there will likely still be a complicated patchwork of protocols for travel across Europe. Travelers should check the requirements in each destination they are visiting or transiting through to make sure they are in compliance.