Home — Travel n Tour The U.S. Is Off the E.U.’s ‘Safe List.’ What Does That Mean for Americans Traveling to Europe?

The U.S. Is Off the E.U.’s ‘Safe List.’ What Does That Mean for Americans Traveling to Europe?

by Mary Sewell

On Monday, the European Union removed the United States from its “safe list” of countries whose residents can travel to its 27 member states without requirements such as quarantine and testing. This generated confusion, with some people writing on social media that Americans have been banned from visiting Europe. That’s not actually what the recommendation means. Americans have not been explicitly prohibited from going anywhere in Europe. But vaccination status may soon affect travel even more than it did before. Here’s a look at what the new developments mean for vaccinated and unvaccinated people:

FT 21.08.10 American travel featured image

What just happened? How will this change my trip to Europe?

Since June, the United States has been on the European Union’s “safe list” for travel, which cleared the way for American travelers to visit many E.U. member countries without quarantine. In addition to taking the U.S. off the safe list on Monday, the European Council of the European Union, the bloc’s governing body, released a recommendation urging member countries to issue travel restrictions for unvaccinated visitors from the United States against the coronavirus. The European Union is encouraging authorities across Europe to reinstate the sort of mandatory quarantine and testing requirements that seemed to be on their way out, though only for unvaccinated travelers.

However, it’s up to a given country to decide if it wants to issue new requirements.

How does this affect vaccinated travelers?

If you are fully vaccinated with an E.U.-approved vaccine, including those manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, the requirements you face entering an E.U. country should not change. Many member states have already urged travelers to bring proof of vaccination and waive quarantine requirements for those who can show proof of immunization.

Countries could decide to add new restrictions, but it’s unclear if any will. Still, you’d be wise to have your Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine record card handy no matter where you are headed.

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