(CMR) The European Union has recommended that its 27 nations remove the US from a list of countries for nonessential travel and reinstate restrictions on tourists from there because of rising coronavirus infections now in several US states.
While this recommendation is nonbinding, US travelers should expect changes in travel rules across the continent.
The EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism policy, and national EU governments have the authority to decide whether they keep their borders open to US tourists, the Associated Press reported.
The EU also removed Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia from its safe travel list.
The European Council updates the safe travel list based on criteria relating to coronavirus infection levels. It gets reviewed every two weeks. The threshold for being on the EU list is having not more than 75 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over two weeks.
New COVID-19 cases in the US are averaging over 150,000 a day, with hospitalizations nearing 100,000 a day. Coronavirus-related deaths have been over 1,200 a day for several days, seven times higher than they were in early July.
Europe had been slowly reopening to American tourists since May when the EU said anyone fully vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine should be allowed to visit member states for nonessential travel.
In June, the EU added the US to its safe travel list, recommending its members gradually ease travel restrictions for all Americans and open the door to unvaccinated travelers. However, the ultimate decision-making was left to each EU nation.
Meantime, the US has not yet reopened its own borders to EU tourists, despite calls to lift the ban.