The European Union has recently lifted its travel ban for unvaccinated Americans, although this is not the only reason to stay home. Some nations have even completely lifted their entry requirements, so you should check the rules for each nation you are considering before traveling. Entry requirements are not only based on the country of departure, however. US citizens with permanent residency status or a long-term visa are generally exempt from this ban. However, a few countries have also taken other steps to protect their citizens and the public health.
Whether or not you’re traveling to Europe for business or pleasure, make sure your passport is up to date and in good condition. Passports should be less than 10 years old and 5 years for children. You should also ensure that it has at least three months of validity left. If you’re pregnant or have other health concerns, check with your doctor before traveling to Europe. You should also bring extra cash if you plan on using ATM machines.
The European Union has recommended a coordinated approach to travel this summer, although member states are free to determine their own requirements. The travel recommendations are not binding and apply to all countries in the Schengen Zone, which includes both EU and non-E.U. countries. In Croatia, for example, cases of the disease are steadily declining, according to the World Health Organization. The country’s nearly 30 percent of citizens are fully vaccinated.
The invasion of the Ukrainian country has already caused a drop in demand and confidence in travel to the region. While the transatlantic travel industry was poised for a major recovery spike, the resulting conflict has caused travelers to rethink their upcoming trips to Europe. While the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the US and Europe two years ago focused most global travelers’ attention, the invasion of the Ukraine bordering Moldova has caused panic.
The new requirements will affect American citizens traveling to Europe. In 2023, U.S. citizens will need an electronic travel authorization system or ETIAS to enter the Schengen zone. This system will function similarly to the United States Electronic System for Travel Authorization. Once registered with the ETIAS, travelers can enter any of the Schengen-zone countries unlimited times over a three-year period. This will save time and money in the long run, and will allow frequent travelers to visit the EU without needing to apply for travel authorization every time they visit.
The first step is to make sure you’re completely vaccinated. You must present a valid proof of vaccination, which can be an CDC card or an updated certificate of your previous vaccines. France considers a complete vaccination schedule, which includes the booster shot and is administered no later than 9 months after the initial vaccination cycle. Those who do not have the vaccination must provide a certificate of recovery (valid for six months) or a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours or 72 hours of travel.
You can also use the European Union’s website to check the latest travel restrictions. The EU’s safe list has updated their vaccination requirements and includes some countries with relatively low risk. However, if you’re traveling as an unvaccinated American, you may need to take extra precautions to prevent the spread of disease. Thankfully, vaccination for U.S. citizens remains relatively high, so you’ll find it easier to travel to Europe.
Fortunately, US citizens are exempt from visa requirements in the Schengen Area. The rules for EU citizens are based on where the traveller is departing from, and the same person will have different restrictions in different countries. The same goes for the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC).
Although the United States isn’t considered a “high-risk” travel area, the Netherlands has lifted its quarantine regulations for travelers from the U.S. However, some restrictions remain for non-EU visitors. In the Netherlands, travelers who are fully vaccinated may enter without quarantine. For example, you can enter Portugal without having to undergo a quarantine, as long as you’ve had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. Similarly, you must complete a passport-style passenger locator form to be allowed to stay in hotels.
Health insurance in Europe is widely available and accessible, and many European countries are happy to welcome U.S. citizens. You can also visit Croatia without a visa, though you’ll need to provide proof of vaccination, as well as a COVID-19 test. However, be aware that Croatia has strict quarantine policies for foreigners who are not fully vaccinated and have recovered from a COVID-19 infection. In addition, you’ll need to fill out a mandatory entry form before traveling to the country.