Which European Countries Are Altering Policies Towards US Travelers?
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Following the European Union’s removal of the U.S. from its “safe” list of countries earlier this week, some of the bloc’s member nations have changed their policies about allowing American tourists.

The E.U.’s governing body had classified the U.S. as a safe travel market back in June, when widespread COVID-19 vaccinations had lowered case rates nationwide and before the Delta variant began to vastly alter America’s epidemiological landscape for the worse.

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While the European Commission’s list represents the recommended stance for the entire bloc, it’s also non-binding, meaning that each of the E.U.’s 27 member states is free to set its own rules surrounding vaccination, testing or quarantine requirements for travelers.

Just yesterday, Bulgaria reclassified the U.S. as a ‘red zone’ country, rendering all Americans ineligible for entry unless they qualify for certain specific exceptions. The Balkan nation currently classifies foreign countries as either green, orange or red, according to their associated risk level for COVID-19 transmission.

Right on the heels of the E.U.’s decision, Italy tightened its restrictions on American visitors, requiring proof of full vaccination or recovery from a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the past 180 days. On top of this, travelers ages six and older need to present a negative molecular or antigen test performed within 72 hours of arrival. Unvaccinated arrivals must undergo a mandatory quarantine period, Travel + Leisure reported. Italy’s policy is set to remain in place through at least October 25. It’s important to note that Italy also requires individuals to have a ‘Green Pass’ in order to enter certain public areas, including archeological sites, theatres, museums and indoor eating or drinking establishments.

In mid-August, even before the E.U.’s removal of the United States from its safe travel list, Germany had already declared the U.S. a ‘high-risk’ country and began requiring that American tourists either be fully vaccinated or provide proof of their prior recovery from COVID-19 infection. Unvaccinated visitors may still be gain entry but will need to quarantine for a full 10 days or reduce their isolation period by submitting a negative test result after the fifth day. This regulation is set to remain in effect until at least September 30.

However, some E.U. members have not toughened their policies on allowing American tourists, even in light of the Commission’s updated recommendation. For instance, Portugal—where tourism typically accounts for 15 percent of the nation’s GDP—continues to welcome U.S. visitors, provided they have proof of a PCR or NAAT test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding their flight. Children under 12 are exempt from the testing requirement, but everyone will have to submit a passenger locator card within four days prior to arrival in Portugal.





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