Brussels – The European Union on Monday recommended that its 27 countries reinstate restrictions on tourists from the United States due to the hikethe.
The European Council’s decision to remove the United States from a list of safe countries for non-essential travel, when the bloc recommended lifting restrictions on U.S. travelers ahead of the summer tourist season.
The guidelines are not binding, however, and American travelers should expect a mishmash of rules for travel across the continent.
The EU also removed Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia from the list.
The EU does not have a unified COVID-19 tourism policy, and EU national governments have the power to decide whether to keep their borders open to American tourists. Possible restrictions could include quarantines, additional testing on arrival, or even a total ban on all non-essential travel from the United States.
More than 15 million Americans a year visited Europe before the coronavirus crisis, and new travel restrictions could cost Europe billions.
The recommendation does not apply to Britain, which officially left the EU earlier this year and opened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from the United States earlier this month.
The United States remains on Britain’s “orange” travel list, which means fully vaccinated adults arriving from the United States to the United Kingdom do not have to self-isolate. A COVID-19 test is required three days before arrival in the UK and another test is required two days after arrival.
Meanwhile, the United States has yet to reopen its own borders to European tourists, despite the bloc’s calls for the Biden administration to lift its ban. European Commission Home Affairs spokesperson Adalbert Jahnz said on Monday that the EU executive was still in talks with the US administration, with the two sides so far having failed to find a reciprocal approach.
In addition to the epidemiological criteria used to determine the countries for which the restrictions should be lifted, the European Council said that “reciprocity should also be taken into account on a case-by-case basis”.
The European Council updates the list of safe travel on the basis of criteria relating to the levels of infection with the coronavirus. He is seen every two weeks. The threshold for being on the EU list is to have no more than 75 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population in the past 14 days.
Last week in the United States, new cases of the coronavirus averaged more than 152,000 per day, going back in time to the end of January, and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients was around 85,000, a number never seen since early February.
Coronavirus deaths in the United States have exceeded 1,200 a day for several days, seven times more than they were in early July.