The European Union has reopened to visitors from the United States, but the traffic has not been two-way. There are few clues as to when that will change.
By Madeleine Ngo
In June, the European Union officially recommended its member countries reopen their borders to American tourists after more than a year of tight restrictions. The United Kingdom has also placed the United States on an “amber” list, which means American travelers are allowed in, but must quarantine for 10 days and show proof of a negative coronavirus test.
But residents of Europe’s Schengen area — spanning 29 countries, city-states and micro-states — as well as those in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are still barred from traveling to the United States, unless they are a U.S. citizen or they spend 14 days before arrival in a country that is not on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s prohibited list. Certain family members are also exempt.
The restrictions were first put in place in March 2020. Although President Donald J. Trump briefly ordered an end to the ban on European travelers during his last week in office, President Biden quickly rescinded the move.
Discussions about when to resume inbound travel have been opaque. In late June, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was too soon to say when the United States would lift travel curbs for European Union citizens.
“We are anxious to be able to restore travel as fully and as quickly as possible. We’re very much guided by the science, by our medical experts. That has to be the foundational principle on which we’re looking at this,” Mr. Blinken said at a news conference in Paris, adding that he “can’t put a date on it.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on July 8 that the United States was not yet ready to lift restrictions on international travel.
“A lot of this is based on what’s going on with progress on the vaccines,” Mr. Buttigieg said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “Obviously we see good news and bad news out there in terms of the variants. One moment, you’re reading about a variant happening across the world, the next you know, it’s becoming the dominant strain here in the U.S.”
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