Less than two months after opening up for vaccinated Americans, at the end of August the EU officially removed the United States from their “safe” travel list. They further recommended that member nations restrict all non-essential travel from the U.S. due to the surge of new COVID cases across America. At least for the time being, Americans will no longer be able to visit the 27 EU countries freely without quarantining.
If you have a trip planned or were about to visit, this may seem like a big step back. But not so fast! Let’s take a closer look at what this might mean to you.
Is it a travel ban?
Many Americans view this announcement as a travel ban, but this is simply not accurate. This recommendation is simply that: a recommendation. Each individual member country will manage their own entry requirements and restrictions. Ultimately it’s up to a country to decide the route it wants to pursue, policy-wise. This in turn means your vacation may not be affected at all.
This move by the EU impacts unvaccinated travelers more than the fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) – it’s likely that nothing will change for you as long as you bring your vaccination card with you.
Will you need a negative COVID-19 test?
But don’t be surprised if some countries add a negative COVID test requirement on top of a vaccination card too. Again, this sounds more restrictive than it is. Many countries already require this. In addition, American travelers must test negative before being allowed back in the U.S. from any international travel.
If you are unvaccinated, you may be required to quarantine upon arrival and in some cases, you may be denied entry. For this reason, we urge all passengers to please carefully review vaccination requirements.
We expect this new recommendation will illicit varying responses across the EU. Member countries are updating their individual policies right now.
Does this also apply to the fully vaccinated?
Again, if you’re fully vaccinated, you probably don’t have too much to worry about. If you have a trip coming up, we recommend double checking your destination’s entry requirements at least five days in advance. That way you can meet the testing requirement if there is one.
How does this news affect you? Do you think it will affect your plans and what are your feelings about restricting unvaccinated travelers? Do you think this is reasonable or excessive and why? Sound off in the comments below.
Finally, if you have any concerns about an upcoming trip or need to cancel your booking, reach out to a member of our team – we’re ready to help!