a bridge with people walking on it

Even though Europe loves a greenback, many countries are reverting the United States back to “red”. The political chess game caused by US travel bans on Europeans rolls on, and this time its the European Union making the moves.

On Monday, August 30th, the European Union is expected to remove the United States from its “safe list” for travel, meaning unvaccinated visitors will largely no longer be welcomed into the bloc. Some countries have already jumped the gun.

Americans Face Uncertainty Over Europe Trips

Over the summer, Europe opened to Americans on the basis that the USA would end its ban on European visitors, entering from the Schengen Area.

The presidential ban restrict entry to the USA for visitors coming from the European Union where vaccination rates are extremely high and covid-19 cases are low, yet does absolutely nothing to prevent tourist visitors entering from many areas of the world with alarmingly low vaccination levels and high rates of covid-19 transmission.

Fed up with lack of progress after talks with US leadership, including an oval office visit from German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, the European Union (EU) is widely expected to remove the USA from its “safe list” for travel.

a blue passport with gold text on it

The “safe list” allows not only vaccinated Americans, but unvaccinated people to visit, provided they bring a negative covid-19 test certificate. Further measures were put in place, in places like France, to demand regular testing of unvaccinated visitors, if they wished to enter cafes, bars or hotels.

If the US is indeed removed from the EU safe list, only fully vaccinated visitors from the USA would still be able to enter some countries.

Yes, for clarity, if you’re a fully vaccinated American, this should not change much, if anything at all. It just means countries will have an easier time barring unvaccinated US visitors from entry. The Czech Republic has already taken action on this, ahead of the official news.

Greece hasn’t yet gone that far, but has updated requirements so that unvaccinated visitors must take a rapid test every 48 hours to enter most attractions, restaurants and hotels. Similar setups exist in France and Italy.

a white buildings with blue domes overlooking the ocean with Santorini in the background

EU Countries Can Opt Out

Many tourism driven nations opened to American visitors before the EU officially permitted entry, or added the United States to its safe list.

The EU removing the USA from the “safe list” doesn’t mean all countries have to follow recommendations – – and in fact — many won’t.

Unvaccinated Americans may face total bans or extra hurdles to visit Europe in the coming months, unless the White House takes action to welcome European visitors, but fully vaccinated travelers should still be able to enter Europe for tourism, business or leisure without hassle.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation


  1. Just was to the Schengen area and the US vaccine card is not considered vaccinated. In effect EU is banning all USA. This is because we have no digital vaccine info for them to confirm.

    1. That’s absolutely not true in most countries. Perhaps you had a bad experience, or a specific location offered bad information — but that’s simply not the case.

    2. Nope…Had no issue flying Lufthansa business class from EWR to MXP. Both vaccinated and antigen tested young adults. Using Abbott/NAVICA self tests for green pass. Easy peasy.

  2. There have always been 1000 deaths per day in the US. People used not to try to assign them all to Covid using a PCR test that gives 100% false positives or read them out every day on the news, trying to frighten us all into getting a wildly reckless untested gene therapy. wake up folks!

  3. Makes absolute sense. The Americans have been happily skipping over the pond for months and yet travel the other way is still banned. The irony of course is that America has one of the biggest problems with the anti-Vax brigade and yet they consider Europe and the UK to be the problem!

    1. I totally agree. I postponed my trip to the US. Rearranging leave from work 4 times. Thinking would be able to enter by September! Im on leave now and too late to postpone! I wanted to visit my daughter in Arizona!

  4. Our family had no issues getting to Italy…both vaccinated and unvaccinated. Having a blast in Florence. My healthy adult children would rather have natural immunity it is better for them than a vaccine that doesn’t work for more than several months. See Israel.

  5. I suspect this has a lot to do with lack of reciprocity from the USA. The US has allowed people to enter from third world countries with pitiful testing and low levels of vaccination whilst keeping the ban on EU and UK. There is little reason to keep the ban, but if the US insists then you can’t expect Europe to continue to take the risk on Americans without movement from them.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *