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European Countries Are Banning US Travelers. Here’s What You Need to Know

The US is off the safe list.

The European Union removed the US from its “safe list” last month. The US was added to the safe list in June after a year of travel restrictions, allowing Americans to plan summer holidays in Europe. But two months later, the Union has urged its member countries to impose restrictions on travelers from the US in the wake of the Delta variant. The safe list is a controlled way to open borders after a year of bans, encouraging non-essential travel to the bloc; it is updated every two weeks.

However, the recommendations are not legally binding. Each country controls its own borders and entry requirements, so all 27 members have different rules. While some are adding additional requirements for American travelers, a few have banned unvaccinated travelers without an essential reason to visit. 

No Entry From The US

On the heels of the EU declaration, Sweden has reintroduced a ban on American travelers—they can no longer enter Sweden, regardless of their vaccination status. Only absolutely essential reasons can grant travelers an exemption; residence permit holders, healthcare workers, researchers, and travelers in transit may be allowed to visit. The ban went into effect on September 6 and may stay in place for two months, but it’s possible that vaccinated travelers may be exempted soon.

Bulgaria is another nation that has banned travelers from the US. It has added the country to its Red zone list, so anyone traveling from the US—no matter the citizenship or vaccine status—is barred from entering. Entering from a Green or Orange zone is allowed. The rules will stay in effect till November 30, 2021. You can find more information here.

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There has been no change in Norway’s stance on American travelers—they’re not permitted to enter unless they have a compelling reason.

Unvaccinated Americans Banned

The Netherlands has introduced strict measures after the EU update. As of September 4, the US is added to the very high-risk area. Only vaccinated travelers can enter the country and they need to undergo mandatory quarantine and show a negative test result. Unvaccinated travelers are banned from entering the country unless they fall under one of the exempted categories. You can find more information on the embassy website.

The US is categorized as an Orange zone by Denmark. Fully vaccinated travelers can visit Denmark for any reason without quarantining or testing on arrival. The unvaccinated, however, need a worthy purpose (such as a job or a business meeting) to enter and they need to show a negative test result and quarantine on arrival. Traveling to Denmark for tourism is not allowed for unvaccinated individuals.

With the US on Belgium’s Red list, non-essential travel is a no-no for unvaccinated travelers. In order to enter the country, US residents must be able to show a vaccine certificate and they’re required to test on arrival and quarantine until the result comes negative. They are also required to take another test on the seventh day of their trip. More information here.

It’s important to note that guidelines and border restrictions can change within a moment’s notice so keep a close eye on the news. If you’re unvaccinated, it’s more likely that you will face hiccups, so consider traveling only two weeks after your second dose.

jan47ete September 11, 2021

I believe it is CRITICAL that these travel articles are dated.  Most articles say info changes frequently/daily and article is of no value in light of that if there is no date on it.

verena6 September 11, 2021

How does a ban effect cruise Ships?

wbcoleman September 9, 2021

Can one fly to Denmark from the USA and then drive to Sweden?

coconutsfloat4734 September 8, 2021

Look for the "Re-open EU" website (also an app) with the latest updates on all of the individual countries in the EU and Schengen. It's a great source of up to date information. 

PVWB September 8, 2021

It would have been realy useful to have a chart showing each European country and it's restrictions.  I have read the entire article and still don't know about travel restrictions to France, Spain and Portugal, for example.  Thanks, Paul.