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Travel to Europe

Who will make the decision to allow US travelers into the EU countries?
What are the conditions required to lift the ban?

Posted by
3005 posts

The separate countries will decide.
There is most likely some matrix of #of cases per #population and number of days of sustained reduced new cases.
Also bear in mind countries allowed in hsve varied and 14 day quarantine has ser saeed between requiring it or not. It is far from a stable plan.

Posted by
6236 posts

The European Union - they would strongly prefer that individual countries don't go their own way, but rather have a consistent set of standards (obviously that's an ideal). They already have a set of conditions published but, no doubt, these will be tailored to meet current needs over time.

Posted by
1235 posts

Each country makes it's own decision, although in normal times many are bound by EU and/or other treaty rules. 

However, because there are, broadly, open borders between many EU countries (and a few non-EU countries), the EU has tried to create a standard list of "safer" non-EU/Schengen/Britain countries based on incidence rate, positive cases from testing and (less publicly), politics. 

The US isn't on the current EU safe list, obviously.

The EU safe list was launched to much fanfare in July, promptly ignored by some countries, and has been updated since but without any real traction. Presumably, at some point the US will appear on it. Perhaps at some point next year? But even if it does, the EU has no authority to tell member states who to admit from "third countries" (i.e. most of the world, including the USA), it can just advise and demand. Smaller countries (eg Malta), will probably have to agree, but important EU countries (eg France), can safely do their own thing. And there's no guessing what the looney tunes in the Visegrad-4 will do.

In the end you do need to look at each country's rules which may or may not reflect the EU safe list, and especially take note of whether the country rules are based on your nationality, residence or both. 

Don't forget that some European countries are fortunate enough not to be in the EU or part of the ridiculous open border zone and so are not even pretending to take notice of the EU advice.

And, of course, whilst your own government cannot control another country's rules, it can - and has - issued advice on where to travel to its own citizens. Would you go to a country that the USA government advises you to avoid? Does that have any practical implications, for example on your personal travel insurance? I don’t know (it matters for mine what the UK government says, but your insurance might work entirely differently).

Posted by
8715 posts

It is up to each EU member. The EU itself offers guidance but a member country doesn't have to follow it. As of now, most are following the same criteria. (As an example, Hungary closed its border to all foreign visitors earlier this month including those from other EU countries. The EU is trying to fight it but so far has not been successful.)

You can try the website

It is kept pretty much up to date as to rules. You can even set it as to which country you are coming from to get rules tailor made for you.

Cases of Covid-19 are beginning to pick up in many EU countries so the rules can literally change daily.

Posted by
11112 posts

Nick and Frank II nailed it. Interesting note, for a period of time Hungary was letting in US citizens while excluding some European citizens.... so it can be a mixed bag. A few non-EU countries are currently open to US citizens, but for how long? I think there will always be push back on EU standards as its a ones size fits all approach.

Posted by
17720 posts

I don't know what the criteria might be to lift the ban, but right now, since Sept 1, the US has had almost twice the new cases per capita as western Europe, so I don't see them lifting the ban soon.

And cases like this, American spreads virus in Germany, certainly won't help.