Travel Restrictions Lifted As Americans Can Finally Fly to Europe Again

The U.S. has been officially added to the European Union's list of countries considered safe for travel. The move allows Americans to visit EU nations for non-essential purposes.

In a statement on Friday, the European Council announced that it had updated the list of countries and other areas for which travel restrictions should be lifted, which includes the U.S.

The update followed "a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU," the statement said.

The council said: "Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation," EU member states "should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents" of the countries on this list.

"As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed every two weeks and, as the case may be, updated."

The recommendation is not "legally binding" and "authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation."

Individual national governments can still require travelers meet certain entry conditions, such as a negative COVID-19 test result or a period in quarantine.

Newsweek has contacted the European Commission for further comment.

The graphic below, produced by Statista, shows countries whose residents can travel to the EU.

Graphic showing who can travel to EU.

Latest CDC advice for international travel

Although the EU has eased travel restrictions, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently advises Americans not to "travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated."

The CDC's latest guidance, updated on June 10, states: "Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants.

"The COVID-19 situation, including the spread of new or concerning variants, differs from country to country. All travelers need to pay close attention to the conditions at their destination before traveling.

"If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC's international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people."

See the CDC website for the latest guidance for unvaccinated Americans looking to travel abroad.

The recommendations will be updated "as more people get vaccinated, as rates of COVID-19 change, and as additional scientific evidence becomes available," the health body said.

The wider picture

Coronavirus has infected more than 177.5 million people since it was first reported in Wuhan, China, including over 33.5 million in the U.S. More than 3.8 million people have died and over 2.5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, also produced by Statista, shows the share of the vaccinated population in different countries.

Share of vaccinated population in different countries.
Two travelers snapping pictures.
A stock image of two tourists on a trip. The European Union has lifted travel restrictions for Americans. Getty Images

Update 6/18/21, 9:15 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add CDC advice for travelers and additional details.

Newsweek, in partnership with NewsGuard, is dedicated to providing accurate and verifiable vaccine and health information. With NewsGuard's HealthGuard browser extension, users can verify if a website is a trustworthy source of health information. Visit the Newsweek VaxFacts website to learn more and to download the HealthGuard browser extension.