EU agrees to lift travel ban on US tourists while UK has yet to make it onto ‘white list’

·2-min read
Venice, Italy, could be open to American tourists, restriction-free (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Venice, Italy, could be open to American tourists, restriction-free (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The European Union has agreed to lift restrictions on travellers from the US, enabling American tourists to enter the bloc.

While the States joins the EU’s slim “white list” of countries from where residents will be allowed to enter regardless of vaccination status, the UK has still not been deemed safe enough to join the likes of New Zealand, Australia and Israel.

Five other countries were also added to the “safe” tourism list alongside the US: North Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Lebanon and Taiwan.

EU members agreed to the additional countries from which restrictions on non-essential travel should be lifted on 16 June.

However, the recommendation is non-binding; individual nations can decide whether to adopt it or not, or whether to stipulate that negative test results, proof of vaccination, and/or some form of quarantine is required.

The opposite is also true: while the UK is not on the white list, a number of EU countries are letting in British tourists, some with very few requirements or restrictions.

For example, Brits travelling to Spain on holiday have not had to present a negative PCR test, show proof of being fully jabbed or undergo any period of self-isolation since 24 May.

It is the return journey to the UK that presents an issue, as nearly all of Europe remains on the British government’s “amber list”, necessitating three Covid tests and 10 days’ quarantine for UK arrivals.

The EU has also been working on a bloc-wide digital travel certificate detailing travellers’ vaccination status, recent Covid test results and evidence of full recovery from a recent coronavirus infection.

The certification has already been adopted by Belgium, Spain, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Poland.

Other member states are expected to follow suit from 1 July, enabling smoother travel between EU countries.

Some EU states are allowing British travellers who can provide evidence of full vaccination to enter. The NHS app is accepted as legitimate proof of vaccination status.

Additional reporting by agencies

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