Europe to Welcome Back US Tourists

Ban on nonessential travel to lift Friday, with conditions set by individual countries
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2021 1:03 PM CDT
Europe to Welcome Back US Tourists
A tourist takes photos at the Parthenon temple at the Acropolis in Athens on June 8, 2021, during a media tour for foreign correspondents organized by the Greek Cultural Ministry.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

Good news for those planning a summer vacation in Europe: The European Union will add the United States to its safe travel list on Friday, lifting a ban on nonessential travelers that has been in place through much of the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports. Nonessential travel from the UK is not yet permitted, as the delta variant is spreading there. But ambassadors of the 27 EU member states agreed to allow nonessential travelers from other locales—the US, Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Macao, and Hong Kong—during a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, report CNBC and the New York Times. "The decision is expected to be formally adopted on Friday and would come into effect immediately," per the Times.

"In principle," this means all US travelers would be allowed to enter the EU, even if unvaccinated, per the Times. The European Commission, which previously recommended that fully vaccinated people be allowed to enter the EU without restrictions, wants travelers to undergo a PCR test, but it will be up to individual countries to decide on rules related to testing or quarantine. Several countries, including Greece, Italy, Spain, Croatia, and Austria, are already permitting US travelers with proof of vaccination and/or a recent negative test result, per CNBC and USA Today. Keep in mind even vaccinated Americans who travel abroad will need to produce a negative COVID-19 test within three days of their return flight to the US, USA Today reports. (More Europe stories.)

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