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EU agrees to lift restrictions for American travelers

June 16, 2021
3 min read
Woman Checking Covid-19 Vaccine Passport On Cellphone
EU agrees to lift restrictions for American travelers
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Editor's Note

This story has been updated with new information.

The European Union has added the United States and several other countries to its travel "white list" on Wednesday, allowing vaccinated visitors to forgo quarantine requirements and move more freely between the 27 EU nations.

Two sources close to the matter have confirmed to CNBC that the EU has agreed to add the U.S. and seven other countries or territories -- Albania, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Macau, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Taiwan -- to the list of nations from which travel is allowed.

It remains unclear if the addition of the U.S. to the list will take effect immediately, though the approval is a promising sign for Americans.

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Countries added to the EU's "white list" will be allowed to travel throughout the 27 member nations with fewer restrictions. (Photo by jayk7/Getty Images)

Member countries will be allowed to permit residents of nations on the white list, which already includes Japan, to enter without having to follow previously strict quarantine mandates and to more freely move between EU member nations.

The list will also make it easier for certain travelers to transit through EU countries during flight layovers and connections -- something that has been a struggle for many recently.

Some travelers have reported problems transiting through EU countries for flight layovers and connections. (Photo by Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images)

The EU is still looking for the U.S. to relax its travel restrictions on EU countries before the transatlantic corridor will fully reopen.

The changes come amid concerns about reopening while cases of COVID-19 grow caused by new strains of the virus. EU officials are urging member countries to step up their inoculation efforts before international travel restrictions are fully relaxed.

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EU officials are urging member countries to step up the pace of their vaccine rollouts to protect against new variants of coronavirus before travel restrictions are eased. (Photo by Marko Geber/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, England has delayed lifting lockdown restrictions by an additional month, citing a rise in the number of illnesses due to the virus' Delta variant.

Notably missing from Wednesday's EU announcement is the U.K. An EU official told CNBC that the country has been left off of the white list because of the Delta variant, although more than half of the population is fully vaccinated.

Recently, several EU nations and some not in the EU agreed to adopt digital vaccine passports that will streamline the process for vaccine verification. The U.K. is not participating. From July 1, anybody who is fully vaccinated and has one of the digital passport certificates will be able to move freely between EU Member States.

Emily McNutt contributed to this story.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
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4 / 5
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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023