With COVID-19 cases surging across the globe, the European Union (EU) has just officially recommended that all member states reinstate travel restrictions for tourists from six countries, including the United States. Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and the Republic of North Macedonia have also been removed from the E.U.’s safe list.
The travel restriction recommendation from the EU for U.S. travelers had previously been lifted in June. This recommendation will not require countries within the EU to put travel restrictions into place―each individual country will be allowed to make its own rules.
However, entry restrictions may still be relaxed for vaccinated travelers from non-safe countries.
“Non-essential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed in Annex I is subject to temporary travel restriction. 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 travellers,” the Council of the EU said in a statement.
The recommended travel restrictions could include measures such as requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry or reinstating mandatory quarantines for unvaccinated travelers―or even a complete ban on nonessential travel to some countries from countries not on the safe list.
The EU’s tourism guidelines currently recommend gradually lifting restrictions for visitors arriving from “safe” countries, which have 75 or fewer new COVID-19 cases per 100 000 inhabitants over the last 14 days and “a stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days.” The U.S. has seen a sharp increase in new cases recently, which disqualifies the country from being included on the safe list.
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