European Union governments agreed last night to remove the United States from the EU’s safe travel list, meaning U.S. visitors are likely to face tighter controls, such as Covid-19 tests and quarantines.
American travellers face a ban on non-essential journeys and new quarantine restrictions.
Whilst not automatically binding, the decision could set a precedent for new European restrictions on transatlantic travel after a summer of eased rules
The decision is largely driven by a recent spike in Covid infections, with the US having a vaccination rate significantly lower than most European countries. For example, less than half the population in South Carolina, Louisiana and Texas are fully vaccinated.
However, America’s refusal to allow vaccinated European travellers to visit for non-essential reasons may also play a part, according to various reports.
An EU diplomat told the Times: “Washington’s decision to keep restrictions for Europeans all summer has made taking it all that much easier.”