EU removes U.S. from safe travel list

Americans looking to take an end-of-summer trip to Europe will need to take a closer look at restrictions before they travel, after the European Union on Monday took the U.S. off the EU’s safe travel list as U.S. COVID cases and hospitalizations climb.

That means U.S. visitors are likely to face tighter controls in certain countries, such as COVID-19 tests and quarantines.

The list seeks to unify travel rules across the bloc, although it does not bind individual EU nations, which are free to determine their own border policies.

Already some EU countries, such as Germany and Belgium, categorize the United States as red, requiring tests and quarantines, while for neighbors France and the Netherlands, the United States is classified as safe.

At the start of summer, when the European Union opened up travel to U.S. visitors, the average daily U.S. COVID cases were about 40 cases per million people.

Now, that number has risen to more than 450 per million people in the week to Aug 28th, according to figures from Our World in Data. Despite EU appeals, Washington still does not allow European citizens to visit freely.

The bloc itself has been divided between those concerned about the lack of reciprocity and increased U.S. cases -- and others more reliant on tourism and reluctant to restrict U.S. travelers.

The United States wasn’t singled out. Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia were also taken off the safe travel list.

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