The EU’s decision to remove the United States from the so-called ‘safe’ list of countries has led to plenty of confusion, as the recommendation is non-binding and it’s up to individual member states to set their own restriction policies.
So, which countries have amended their rules for U.S. visitors?
On 1 September, Bulgaria reclassified the U.S. as a ‘red zone’ country, which means all but key workers from the U.S. will be denied entry. However, Bulgaria’s rules apply to country of provenance rather than nationality, so U.S. citizens travelling from another EU country will be allowed in if they meet the appropriate requirements.
Germany had already declared the U.S. a high-risk country before the EU made its latest recommendations. American visitors must be vaccinated or have proof of recovery; otherwise they must undergo a 10-day mandatory quarantine. This regulation is to be reviewed on 30 September.
Italy has tightened its restrictions on U.S. visitors, requiring them to be fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus in the past 180 days or undergo a mandatory quarantine period. All travellers over the age of six need to present a negative antigen or PCR test. These restrictions are scheduled to be reviewed on 25 October.
And the Rest?
No other EU member state has changed its restriction policy on U.S. visitors…so far. However, the appetite to restrict U.S. arrivals isn’t very big among the bulk of EU states, most of whom already have rules in place whereby vaccinated visitors can avoid restrictions including a quarantine requirement.
Portugal, for instance, continues to welcome visitors from the United States, provided they have taken a PCR or NAAT test within 72 hours of departure (children under 12 are exempt).
Ireland hasn’t yet changed its rules on American arrivals, where fully vaccinated visitors are exempted from quarantine.