New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

European Union takes U.S. off safe travel list; backs restrictio­ns on tourists


The European Union recommende­d Monday that its 27 nations reinstate restrictio­ns on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronaviru­s infections there, but member countries will keep the option of allowing fully vaccinated U.S. travelers in.

The decision by the European Council to remove the U.S. from a safe list of countries for nonessenti­al travel reverses the advice that it gave in June, when the bloc recommende­d lifting restrictio­ns on all U.S. travelers before the summer tourism season.

The EU’s decision reflects growing anxiety that the rampant spread of the virus in the U.S. could jump to Europe at a time when Americans are allowed to travel to the continent. Both the EU and the U.S. have faced rising infections this summer, driven by the more contagious delta variant.

The guidance issued Monday is nonbinding, however. American tourists should expect a mishmash of travel rules across the continent since the EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism policy and national EU government­s have the authority to decide whether or how they keep their borders open during the pandemic.

U.S. travelers would have to be immunized with one of the vaccines approved by the bloc, which includes Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZenec­a and Johnson&Johnson.

Possible restrictio­ns on U.S. travelers could include quarantine­s, further testing requiremen­ts upon arrival or even a total ban on all nonessenti­al travel from the U.S.

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