European countries reimpose bans on American tourists

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(CNN) – The prospect of European travel for Americans has started to decline again as countries adopt new measures in response to a recent increase in Covid cases in the United States.

Earlier this week, the European Union announced it was removing the United States from its security list, advising its 27 member states to reconsider allowing entry to non-essential American travelers.

Many of the top tourist destinations that welcomed much-needed visitors from the United States earlier this year have so far chosen to ignore non-binding advice from the EU. Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden have become the first to impose new rules.

From September 4, the Netherlands declared that the United States would be designated as a “high risk area”, joining Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia as new additions to the this list, according to a government website.

Although travelers from these and other high-risk countries are allowed entry if they are fully vaccinated, they must still self-quarantine for 10 days. And from September 6, they must also produce a negative Covid test.

Sweden, which previously exempted American travelers from a ban on almost all non-EU arrivals, also removed the country from its approved list, alongside Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and Macedonia. North.

Tourism industry affected by the pandemic

The country said in a press release that the measure would apply to all non-essential arrivals, whether vaccinated or not, although those who have a Swedish residence permit and who may produce recent negative tests may be exempt.

He added that the Swedish authorities were considering allowing fully vaccinated arrivals from some counties and “would come back to this issue at a later date.”

Italy, which was one of the first European countries to open its borders earlier this year, has also introduced new measures affecting arrivals from all destinations, including the United States.

On August 31, it began requiring all visitors to show proof of a PCR or Covid antigen test performed within 72 hours of travel, whether or not they were vaccinated.

Travelers who are not vaccinated or have proof that they are recovering from Covid must self-quarantine for five days upon arrival and take a swab test, according to the Italian Ministry of Health.

It is not yet known whether other European countries, many of which have relied on an influx of US visitor dollars to help jump-start their pandemic-hit tourism economies, will also revise the rules.

Covid cases rose sharply in the United States in July and September, with the Delta variant of the disease blamed for many new cases.

Top Image Credit: Antonio Masiello / Getty Image

Livia Borghese and Nada Bashir contributed to this story


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