a white buildings with blue domes and a body of water with Santorini in the background

By now, you’ve probably seen the headlines saying that the United States is being removed from the European Union “safe list” for travel, or even that Americans might be barred from entering Europe. One is true, the other is only partly true.

The European Union dropped the United States from its ‘safe travel’ list, which means unvaccinated Americans will largely find themselves left without permission to enter many EU member states — that’s the bad news.

But for the most part, vaccinated Americans should not face much change to the current situation, if any. In fact, trips for vaccinated Americans should remain largely in tact. There are just a couple of exceptions.

a passport with a eagle on it

Vaccinated Americans Still Welcome In Europe

EU officials, speaking to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity expressed confidence that vaccinated Americans shouldn’t see much change as the United States leaves the EU “safe list” for travel. The same applies to vaccinated people from other areas.

If you’ve got a trip planned to a European Union country which has been accepting vaccinated Americans this summer, expect things to stay that way despite the new changes, with only a few exceptions.

The Netherlands is now one of the few exceptions. The country just added a 10 day quarantine for all Americans, even for those fully vaccinated. Bulgaria went a step further and banned all Americans, unless specifically exempted.

Down the line, other countries may add testing requirements for vaccinated travelers, but most are unlikely to add further restrictions. So far, it looks as if many will go the way of Italy, simply adding a new testing requirement, but not a quarantine, like the Netherlands.

The more tourism dependent the country is, the less likely it is to add back uncertainty to the mix, due to changing entry requirements.

“Restrictions can vary from state to state (country), but it is widely expected that fully vaccinated Americans would still maintain unfettered access”

EU Official
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Many EU countries restricted travel for unvaccinated Americans ahead of the official announcement, but fears remained over retaliation for failed US promises to open to Europeans. It was rumored that vaccinated Americans could be left out too.

This would have contradicted European Union travel policies which aim to allow access to European countries for vaccinated visitors entering from outside the continent.

It now appears that most countries which always welcomed fully vaccinated visitors, will indeed continue to welcome fully vaccinated Americans able to prove their status with a US CDC vaccination card without any new quarantine rules.

The EU also removed Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia from the “safe travel” list, which means unvaccinated visitors from these regions would also face significant hurdles to any travel plans.

As with other EU directives, resolutions aren’t binding and each country can choose to implement bans as they see fit. Some may further restrict travel for Americans, but a majority are likely to leave protocols the same for the fully vaccinated.

It’s discouraging to see the Netherlands isolate vaccinated travelers and Bulgaria fully ban US visitors, but the bizarre US ban on all EU visitors can’t be helping relations.

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...

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  1. Thanks for this update. My friend has plans to go to Sweden this Friday, and your info makes it sound likely her trip will be fine.

  2. This sounds like it’s based on nationality. Is this the case or is it based on departure country?

  3. Hey Mr. Ott, what happens if you’re flying back to US from Netherlands (train from Belgium to Ams for return flight). Will they accept negative test result used to get back into US?

  4. The 10 day quarantine, for The Netherlands, can be shortened to 5 days, if you get a PCR negative test on day 5.

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