Popular European Destinations That Unvaccinated People Can and Can't Travel To

Europe is home to several popular destinations for American travelers, including the United Kingdom, France and Italy.

While most European countries allow vaccinated U.S. citizens to enter, each country has its own entry requirements and there often additional restrictions for travelers who have not been fully vaccinated.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you do not travel internationally until you have been fully vaccinated. The agency has ranked every country based on their level of COVID-19 risk, ranging from Level 1 (Low) to Level 4 (Very High.)

Below are the main requirements for unvaccinated U.S. citizens who wish to travel to popular European destinations for non-essential reasons. All of the countries below are classified as Level 3 or Level 4 for COVID-19 risk by the CDC.

The agency recommends that unvaccinated travelers avoid non-essential travel to Level 3 destinations. For Level 4 countries, the CDC says people should avoid all travel to these destinations. If you must travel to a Level 4 country, make sure you are fully vaccinated beforehand.

Austria (Level 4: Very high)

Unvaccinated U.S. citizens are permitted to enter Austria although they are required to pre-register, present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival and remain in mandatory quarantine for 10 days at a hotel or residence at the visitor's expense. This quarantine can be ended after five days with a negative PCR test. Austria prohibits travel from certain high-risk countries.

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Italy (Level 3: High)

U.S. citizens can travel to Italy for non-essential purposes until at least December 15, 2021, if they present a negative PCR or antigen test result carried out within 72 hours of arrival and either proof of vaccination or a certificate confirming recovery from COVID-19 no more than six months before departure. Travelers from the U.S. who are unable to present a valid proof of vaccination or recovery will have to self-isolate on arrival for five days and take a PCR or antigen test at the end of this period. Children under six years of age are exempt from pre-departure COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements.

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Ireland (Level 4: Very High)

U.S. citizens are permitted to enter Ireland but you will be asked to show valid proof of vaccination or that you have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 180 days. If you do not have proof of vaccination or recovery, you will need to present evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in the country. Visitors must also fill in a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form.   Unvaccinated U.S. travelers to the country must self-quarantine for 14, although this can be shortened to five days following a negative PCR test.

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France (Level 3: High)

France has placed the United States on its "Orange" list. This means fully vaccinated travelers only need proof of vaccination to enter. No testing or quarantine is necessary for these people. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers, however, must provide a "compelling reason" for travel and either a negative PCR test performed in the 72 hours before departure or an antigen test performed in the 48 hours before departure. These travelers will be tested again upon arrival, and must self-isolate upon arrival for seven days, or 10 days if they test positive upon arrival. At the end of the seven days they must take a PCR test. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the testing requirements.

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Germany (Level 3: High)

Germany lifted most travel restrictions for U.S. citizens on November 14. Proof of full vaccination is no longer required. Unvaccinated travelers simply need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or evidence that they have recovered from COVID-19 recently. The test can either be a PCR taken within the last 72 hours before arrival in Germany, or an antigen test taken within the prior 24 hours. Children under 12 are exempt from this requirement.

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Greece (Level 4: Very High)

American travelers can enter Greece without being fully vaccinated but they must present a negative PCR test performed up to 72 hours before entry, or a negative antigen test taken 48 hours before entry. Children under 12 are exempt from these requirements. Visitors who have documentation showing that they have recovered from COVD-19 in the previous one to six months are also permitted to enter the country. Random health screenings may be administered at the airport. Travelers must fill out a passenger locator form.

For more information, click here.

The Netherlands (Level 4: Very High)

The Netherlands is currently only permitting vaccinated travelers to enter the country for non-essential reasons. Visitors must complete a health form.

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Spain (Level 3: High)

Only vaccinated U.S. citizens can enter Spain for non-essential purposes at this time. These travelers must fill out a health form in order to enter.

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Switzerland (Level 4: Very High)

Only fully vaccinated U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Switzerland for tourism purposes, as long as they fill out a health form before they cross the border.

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United Kingdom (Level 4: Very High)

U.S. citizens who are not fully vaccinated can travel to the United Kingdom, but they must book and pay for a travel package that includes two tests to be taken during a mandatory 10-day quarantine. One on or before day 2, and the other on or after day 8. In England, travelers can take an additional test via a private provider on day five that can release them from quarantine, but the day eight test must still be taken. You will not be able to travel to the United Kingdom from a "Red List" country unless you have residence rights in the U.K.

For more information, click here.

paris France
A stock image showing Paris, the capital of France. France is one of the top international destinations for American tourists. Getty Images