As Delta Variant Spreads, EU Recommends COVID Restrictions on U.S. Travelers
The European Union recommended earlier this week that COVID-related travel restrictions on U.S. visitors be reimplemented. This move is the result of a surge in coronavirus infections linked to the delta variant, which is known to be highly contagious. Prior restrictions had been lifted in June of this year.
Though not mandatory, the recommendation means that the United States has been removed from the EU's "safe list." Other countries no longer on the list include Israel and Lebanon. Just 52% of the United States population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When the EU reopened to fully vaccinated tourists from the U.S. in June, these visitors were exempt from quarantine by showing either a negative PCR test or valid proof of vaccination. Now, if individual member states decide to reimpose travel restrictions, travelers from the United States could be subject to quarantine, suspension of non-essential travel, and other requirements.
It's important to note that these measures would not apply to vaccinated travelers, as reported by The New York Times.
Not everyone is pleased with the news, however. The U.S. Travel Association urged the EU to remain open to vaccinated Americans and also encouraged the U.S. to reopen for travel. The United States remains closed to most of Europe as part of the Trump administration’s ban on travelers from Schengen-area countries. When the EU announced its reopening in June, many expected that the US government would announce reciprocal measures, to no avail.
The EU maintains a website with detailed developments on international visitor access at: Reopen.europa.eu/en.