The European Union is home to some of the most multicultural societies in the world. It is also a great place to visit and explore. In order to fully appreciate Europe one must be open to cultures other than those that are found within the European Union. There are many restrictions and hurdles that citizens of the United States must deal with when traveling to Europe. This article will give some insight into what you can expect when visiting Europe, as well as ways to prepare for these restrictions.
One of the largest restrictions on travel to Europe, that the United States faces relates to the spread of the deadly pandemic flu. The virus has killed thousands of people across the globe in recent months. While there have been many successful efforts to stop the spread of the disease in the United States and elsewhere in the world, travelers to Europe are not safe from being infected.
Airlines around the world are canceling flights to and from the United States in response to the outbreak of the pandemic. While it may be pleasant for travelers to cancel their vacations, they are not necessarily pleased with the consequence. Many airlines have resorted to changing fees and even canceling flights altogether in order to make up for lost revenue due to the pandemic. While it is true that airlines have to cancel flights in order to avoid providing seats to those who have contracted the flu, passengers are not usually informed about this prior to booking their trip. As a result, travelers may unwittingly pay higher fares or, in the case of some airlines, even receive no compensation for their cancellation.
Another issue facing travelers traveling to Europe is related to the current outbreak of the MERS virus. MERS is caused by a strain of the herpes simplex virus that remains contagious between humans. Like the flu, the symptoms of MERS are easily spread. Anyone who comes in contact with an infected person can become infected. Because of this possibility, all travelers, including US citizens traveling to Europe are urged to receive routine immunizations against the MERS virus.
In addition to these issues, another risk is posed by the new travel restrictions imposed by several European countries. The travel advisories issued by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise travelers to avoid travelling to Spain, France, and Italy unless there is a legitimate reason for travel. They specifically advise US citizens to avoid trips to northern France, the Netherlands, and Germany as well. In addition, people travelling to Spain, France, or Italy should consider paying for transport from their home to these countries, as public transportation is often unreliable during an active pandemic. For travelers entering these countries through Spain or Italy, two doses of a hepatitis B vaccination are recommended after arriving at their destination.
Some other new travel advisories include: avoiding bottled water, un-vaccinated children, un-vaccinated adults, and using a portable tap water filter. The only area where vaccines are not currently recommended is where you will be staying within the country of Greece, as the vaccines are not yet available in the Greek Islands. However, most travelers to Europe are still advised to carry a vaccine for chickenpox as they may run into the risk of contracting the flu while travelling.
One of the greatest concerns about travelling between the United Kingdom and Europe is the possibility of the outbreak of the new pandemic. The swine flu has reached an all time high, and while the disease is not currently present in the United Kingdom, it is spreading rapidly throughout the European continent. There is also a threat of a new pandemic associated with a new strain of the H7 virus that was recently found in an elderly woman who died in upstate New York. This strain is thought to be related to another new strain that was recently found in Germany. If either pandemic were to spread their disease to the United States, it would be catastrophic. Therefore, the recent travel advisory from the United Kingdom becomes especially important to vaccinated Americans who would like to travel to Europe.
It is important to note that the United Kingdom’s entry requirements to travel outside of the European Union vary from year to year. Some years, travelers do not need a visa to enter the country but must stay there for a certain amount of time or face severe penalties. In some cases, entry requirements may change from one country to another. For this reason, it is best to contact a travel agent or the Department of State before traveling to Europe. This will allow an individual the chance to find out if his or her visa requirements have changed and what requirements must be met to enter the country.