What Americans need to know about the travel ban in Europe


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[This article is no longer being updated. See the list of countries currently open to American travelers here.]

On July 1, after months of lockdown, European countries will begin to open their borders to non-essential travelers from a restricted list of countries in which the Covid-19 pandemic has been deemed sufficiently under control. The United States is not on the list. In addition, the US State Department continues to advise US citizens to avoid all international travel.

The situation is changing rapidly, but here is what we currently know about travel to Europe.

From July 1, European countries (all members of the European Union, as well as non-EU European countries Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein) are expected to start opening their borders to residents of Algeria, Australia, Canada and Georgia. , Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. Residents of Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican will also be allowed entry. China is on the list, “subject to confirmation of reciprocity,” that is, if the country opens its borders to European travelers. The official press release noted that some European countries may decide to take a phased approach to lift restrictions on travel from the countries listed. Residents of the United States, where the spread of Covid-19 has not been controlled, are not allowed to enter the European Union unless they are granted an exception.

EU officials said the list will be revised every two weeks. The United States may be added to the list if the country’s epidemiological situation improves. A country can also be removed from the list if its situation worsens.

The restrictions do not apply to European citizens or residents “regardless of the purpose of travel”, according to the official recommendation, nor to health workers, seasonal agricultural workers, diplomats, aid workers, transit passengers, asylum seekers, students and “passengers traveling for imperative family reasons”, among a handful of other exceptions. You can find the full list of exceptions here.


Americans are still allowed to fly to Ireland and Britain, both located outside the European free movement area, known as the Schengen area. In Ireland and Britain, however, all visitors are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. In Britain, you can be fined £ 1,000 (around $ 1,230) for breaking quarantine rules.

Probably not, unless you can prove that you have immediate residence or family ties in Europe. Check with the border control authority of the European country you want to visit for the latest rules.

The rules are based on the country in which travelers reside, so US citizens may be allowed to enter Europe if they reside (and can provide proof of that residence) in any of the countries on the list. approved. At the same time, citizens of approved countries who reside in the United States may not be allowed entry. In either case, before traveling it is best to check with the border control authority of the European country you wish to visit.

Many European countries are now open to visitors residing in other parts of Europe. To find information on a specific European country, visit Reopening of the EU, where you can find the latest rules governing travel within the European Union.

In May, Icelandic officials said the country would be opening to visitors from the United States and other places, as long as they submit to a Covid-19 test upon arrival. Now Iceland is welcome visitors only from Europe. It is the same in Portugal, which had indicated that it would open to visitors from the United States. Now, American visitors – unless they are Portuguese residents or qualify for another exception – are unauthorized entry.

If you have previously booked a flight to Europe, you should be eligible for flight credit or a refund, depending on the date of your booking and the type of ticket you purchased. Call your airline to request a new reservation or to request a refund.

Many hotels and tour operators offer credits or refunds for existing bookings. Check with your service provider for details.

Anyone who has been “physically present” in the Schengen area or in Great Britain or Ireland in the last 14 days is not permitted to enter the United States unless the traveler meets the requirements for travel. ” one of the exceptions set out in the presidential proclamations issued on March 11 (for the Schengen area) and March 14 (for Great Britain and Ireland). The rule does not apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, or their eligible family members. The US Department of State proposes More information.

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