EU agrees to lift restrictions for American travelers

Jun 16, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

Want more travel, points and miles news in your inbox? Sign up for TPG’s daily newsletter.

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.

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.