The European Union (EU) recommended on Monday that its 27 nations reinstate restrictions on tourists from the US because of rising coronavirus infections there, but member countries will keep the option of allowing fully vaccinated US travellers in.
The decision by the European Council to remove the US from a safe list of countries for non-essential travel reverses the advice that it gave in June when the bloc recommended lifting restrictions on all US travellers before the summer tourism season.
The EU’s decision reflects growing anxiety that the rampant spread of the virus in the US could jump to Europe at a time when Americans are allowed to travel to the continent. Both the EU and the US have faced rising infections this summer, driven by the more contagious Delta variant.
The guidance issued on Monday is non-binding, however. American tourists should expect a mishmash of travel rules across the continent, since the EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism policy, and national EU governments have the authority to decide whether or how they keep their borders open during the pandemic.