EU drops US from safe travel list, reinstates new restrictions

Europe Published 2 years ago on 1 September 2021 | Author TIN Media

The European Union has recommended that its 27 nations reinstate restrictions on tourists from the US because of rising coronavirus infections there. A decision to remove the US from a safe list of countries for nonessential travel would reverse advice from June, when the bloc recommended lifting restrictions on US travellers before the summer tourism season.

The guidance is nonbinding, though, and US travellers should expect a mishmash of rules across the continent.

Any decision would be nonbinding, however. The EU has no unified Covid-19 tourism policy and national governments have the authority to decide whether they keep their borders open to US tourists. Possible restrictions could include quarantines, further testing requirements upon arrival or even a total ban on all non-essential travel from the US.

The EU also removed Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia from the safe list.

The US has yet to reopen its own borders to EU tourists, despite calls from the bloc for the Biden administration to lift its ban. The European Council updates the list based on criteria relating to coronavirus infection levels. It gets reviewed every two weeks. The threshold for being on the EU list is having not more than 75 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days.

Last week in the US new cases averaged over 152,000 a day, turning the clock back to the end of January.