The EU just updated its guest list — and US travelers still can’t visit

Jul 16, 2020

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The European Union has posted an update to its latest list of countries they will welcome beginning July 1, although individual countries are permitted to establish their own visitation policies.

Americans are not on the list of travelers that will be allowed to visit. Among the nations that will be allowed are Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea. Banned countries include the United States, Russia and Brazil.

The EU says the list will be updated every two weeks.

As of July 15, the European Union will allow citizens from the following countries:

  • Algeria
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay

China, where the coronavirus outbreak began, will also be given entry permissions provided China grants reciprocal rights to Europeans.

The New York Times first reported back on June 26 that the European Union would exclude Americans from its reopening borders. The reason: the U.S. has been unable to control the spread of coronavirus.

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Related: The international places Americans can visit this summer

Reporter Matina Stevis-Gridneff called it “a stinging blow to American prestige in the world and a repudiation of President Trump’s handling of the virus in the United States.” The United States has the highest death toll in the world from coronavirus. According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. death toll is more than 126,000 and there have been more than 2.6 million cases. The U.S. accounts for more than a quarter of all deaths worldwide.

The Times reported:

“Countries on the E.U. draft lists have been selected as safe based on a combination of epidemiological criteria. The benchmark is the E.U. average number of new infections — over the past 14 days — per 100,000 people, which is currently 16 for the bloc. The comparable number for the United States is 107, while Brazil’s is 190 and Russia’s is 80, according to a Times database.”

Europe joins Asia, South America, Australia and other areas that are off limits to U.S. travelers. Here is our guide to the destinations currently accepting U.S. travelers: Places Americans can travel internationally.

Travel industry analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Henry Harteveldt told TPG, “2020 is the year where nature and governments extended their middle fingers to the travel industry.”

Back in March, President Trump banned travel from Europe in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. That travel ban was later expanded to include the U.K. and Ireland. Since then, Europe has managed to flatten the infection curve.

Related reading: Can I cancel or change my award ticket due to coronavirus travel waivers?

The news could be a further blow to the already struggling travel industry. Many airlines and hotels had begun to announce plans to relaunch service to and from Europe and the U.K.

Related: British Airways to resume 29 long-haul flights

Related: Virgin Atlantic to resume 5 routes in July 

Transatlantic flights are among the most profitable for airlines and U.S. and European airlines will be seriously impacted if that lucrative business doesn’t return sometime this year.

Skift senior aviation business editor Brian Sumers told TPG that it is disappointing news, but not unexpected:

“The United States is not close to having Covid-19 under control, according to many experts, and Europe doesn’t want a wave of American tourists infecting its citizens. For airlines, I am sure this is disappointing news, too. But airline executives are smart and they had to have seen this coming. I doubt any transatlantic airline had staked its short-term future on making money this summer between Europe and the United States. Now, this fall could be different. By fall, airlines are hoping some business travel will return, including across the Atlantic. If Americans can’t fly to Amsterdam or Paris in October to conduct business, that’s a big potential problem.”

Harteveldt agreed that the ban will add to the economic crunch. He said, “This decision may also harm U.S. firms that do business in Europe, since American business people won’t be allowed to travel to the region. And of course, this will only exacerbate the financial problems faced by airlines on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The rules for various countries reopening for tourism have been confusing, to say the least. Greece, Iceland, Portugal, and Spain had all suggested Americans would be welcome as soon as June, but all later backtracked on that.

Related: Europe reopening a country-by-country guide

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses, including the novel coronavirus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019, 2020. Courtesy CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS. CDC requests display of watermark due to emergent nature of outbreak. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses, including the novel coronavirus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019, 2020. Courtesy CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS. CDC requests display of watermark due to emergent nature of outbreak. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)


Related: A country-by-country guide to reopening the Caribbean

Harteveldt also said there is still hope for tourism to Europe suggesting, “this may be a political maneuver.” He pointed out the U.S. hasn’t allowed international visitors into the country since March, and “It’s possible that if the U.S. rescinds its travel restrictions, the E.U. may decide to let in U.S. visitors.”

While a summer vacation in Europe now seems unlikely, there is still some good news for Americans: the Caribbean is open for business.

And if you want to stick closer to home, most states in America are welcoming tourists again. Here’s a guide to the re-openings across America.

And a gentle reminder to make sure you are booking refundable flights and hotels in case of last-minute changes to the rules.

Related: What to know about trip cancellation and interruption protection offered by select credit cards

Related:  Will a face mask keep you safe from viruses on a plane?

Featured image by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

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