The situation in Ukraine and the ensuing conflict have made many Americans hesitant to book a trip to Europe. The European Union has taken measures to protect travelers from these dangers, but travel to the region remains risky. The latest report from MMGY Travel Intelligence indicates that 62 percent of US travelers are concerned about the war in the country and its effects, while nearly half cite safety and health concerns associated with COVID-19.
Although the omicron variant has resulted in record-high numbers of cases, many countries in Europe are trying to contain the outbreak and welcome in travelers free of the disease. However, it has hit Europe’s travel industry just as it was starting to recover from a pandemic. The good news is that most European countries have implemented travel policies to combat the virus, and the latest guidelines for travel have been updated frequently. Despite the risks, European leaders are confident that travelers can travel to Europe without any worries.
While many countries have their own travel requirements, a recent EU report indicates that 2022 is shaping up to be one of the easiest years to visit Europe. This is largely because EU countries continue to relax their COVID requirements for travel. France, Italy, and the U.K. have recently dropped pre-arrival requirements for the vaccination of non-EU travelers. Other countries, including Iceland, have also removed COVID-related restrictions.
The latest European travel advice states that Americans should be aware of the different requirements for entering a country. These regulations vary by country and include the type of mask to be worn on an airplane and proof of vaccination. Visiting France in particular has strict vaccination policies for both residents and tourists. Vaccined travelers should take an anti-HIV blood test three days before travel. Unvaccinated travelers should get a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of travel.
Another tip for Americans traveling to Europe is to travel by train. While buses and planes are available in Europe, the best way to travel is by train, especially within the Schengen states. Train travel is one of the most inexpensive means of transport in Europe and allows you to see more of the continent. And if you are traveling by air, you may even consider traveling by train to avoid airport security lines. You can even travel by train between countries within the Schengen zone.
While the United States is no longer on the European Union’s list of safe countries to travel to, US citizens can still visit most European nations. EU member states are free to impose entry requirements and vaccination programs, so it is vital to know the specific requirements of the countries you are planning to visit. In general, US citizens with permanent resident status or holders of a long-term visa are not subject to travel bans. However, the EU warns that travelers from the United States should still be fully vaccinated before leaving for the continent.
The EU’s list of safe countries to visit includes countries with a low incidence of diseases such as COVID-19. The United States is not currently included on the list, but if you have recovered from this disease within the last 180 days, you can travel to most countries in the EU. For unvaccinated travelers, however, you may be restricted to certain areas in Europe. However, as more countries follow the EU’s lead, you should be fully protected before traveling to Europe.
Travel to the EU requires travelers to show valid passports, COVID certificate, and travel document. Visitors from outside the Schengen area must have proof of a negative COVID test. For further information, the Finnish government recommends the Finentry app. This app not only offers up-to-date information on requirements, but also helps you book free tests. While EU citizens may visit Finland, travelers from outside the EU must first prove that they are travelling for an essential reason.
France also requires proof of COVID vaccination. The EU Digital COVID Certificate should provide a valid exemption for 14 days after the last dose of the vaccine. If you have recovered and have a certificate showing a negative test result in 180 days, you should also be exempted from COVID-related travel restrictions. This is also known as an emergency brake and should only be used in exceptional situations. It is always wise to check the EU’s latest information when traveling to Europe.