The European Union asked its member countries to reopen their borders to American tourists in June, aiming to bolster the continent's struggling tourism sector during the key summer season.
It was successful. American visitors went to Spain's and Greece's beaches, Italy's countryside, and the streets of Amsterdam and Paris.
However, in reaction to the worrisome rise in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations across the Atlantic, the European Union recommended additional travel restrictions for unvaccinated travelers from the United States on Monday.
The European Council of the European Union, which represents the authorities of the bloc's 27 countries, removed the United States from a "safe list" of countries where residents could travel without having to undergo quarantine or testing, implying that potential regulations to stop the spread of the coronavirus could last months. The new rules may deliver a further blow to Europe's struggling tourist industry.
Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia are also among the nations that have been taken off the "safe list," with the majority of them reporting an increase in cases in the last 2 weeks.
The recommended limits are not mandatory, and it is up to each member country of the European Union to follow them. As a result, it was unclear at the time whether governments, if any, would restore restrictions or when they would start.
The proposed limitations would only apply to unvaccinated passengers if they were implemented. All tourists who have been vaccinated with an E.U.-approved vaccination should be permitted to travel, according to the European Council. This covers the three vaccines produced by Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna in the United States, as well as AstraZeneca.
Even for tourists from a nation on the safe list, some countries have imposed more strict restrictions than others, but once travelers have entered an E.U. country, they are free to move across the bloc.
Unvaccinated tourists from nations on the European Council's safe list can visit E.U. countries without being quarantined if they show a negative test, as per existing standards. However, a small number of nations have maintained self-isolation rules, including inoculated tourists in some instances.