You may have pieced together a few bits of news about Europe, travel, and Americans being allowed back in, among others, but did you get everything you needed? The EU is reopening travel, but even for vaccinated people – that leaves many questions.

In hopes of seeing happy Instagram posts from all over the European continent, GSTP has pieced together all the FAQ’s about what Americans being allowed back in Europe does, and does not mean. For a start – you’ll still probably need a covid-19 test.

Can Americans Visit The EU? Couldn’t They Already?

Many European Union countries took it upon themselves to allow American visitors this summer, but each took its own approach, and that still didn’t mean an American could necessarily visit another EU country.

Some countries, such as Greece and Spain, say they are happy to receive Americans with either a negative covid-19 test or full vaccination, while others, like Portugal, are requiring full vaccination.

The news that the USA will be added to the EU’s safe list, along with Albania, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Macau, North Macedonia, Serbia and Taiwan, means that all EU area countries are supposed to welcome Americans – vaccinated or not.

This is a crucial new detail, because the “safe list” also allows for unvaccinated travelers who are able to present a negative test, whereas any countries allowed in “not” on the safe list were typically only allowing fully vaccinated visitors.


What About Covid-19 Testing?

Americans – yes, all Americans, even vaccinated ones – are still required to take a negative covid-19 test before their return to the United States. These can be the rapid covid-19 antigen tests, and can even be taken from a hotel room or pool, under video supervision.

There’s great hope that the US CDC will drop testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers, but for now, that’s how it goes.

Most countries in the EU zone have agreed not to require a covid-19 test for fully vaccinated travelers entering the zone, but unvaccinated travelers will certainly need to provide a negative covid-19 test before travel, likely a PCR test. Some countries may still insist on a test, even if vaccinated. Checking official resources is recommended.

How About Proving Vaccination?

July is quickly approaching and the EU hopes to have a digital solution for proving vaccination during the month. This will involve an app which can be downloaded, or a print out and will better verify proof of vaccination.

To be “fully vaccinated” a traveler must have completed the require dosage of their specific vaccine, and waited 14 days since the last dose – effectively “day 15”.

In lieu of using the ‘green pass’ app from the EU, travelers should be prepared to show their official vaccination card, such as those issued by the CDC in the United States, and may wish to bring any appointment confirmations or other pieces of proof, just in case.

a street with colorful buildings

What About Travel Within Europe?

The big news from Europe is that countries are finally, largely, ending internal border controls, which means you should be able to drive, train or fly from France into Spain, or Germany into Austria without issue, or passport checks.

This is welcome news for people who enjoy road tripping, train journeys or multi city trips in the European continent, and will make hopping from country to country much easier. Essentially, once you’re admitted into one EU country, you should be “in” to the rest too.

Great News For Travel Reboot

This is huge news from the European Union, which makes many more travelers from around the globe eligible to visit. There’s now great hope that the USA will reciprocally allow Europeans to enter the United States again soon, signaling yet again that travel may finally be coming back.

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. You’ll still need to wear masks in many places, and lots of things remain ‘temporarily closed’, including things like many Viator options. Public trans still limited and mask required. Menus limited, tours limited.
    Still around 4 years to go IMHO before 100% of the panic is washed out of the system.

    1. This is a pretty contrarian and dim viewpoint on very positive news. Most things are open. Real restaurants (non tourist dives) are open and there’s hardly been a better time to travel to Europe during peak summer, with fewer visitors around!

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