The Council of the European Union (EU) recently released a much anticipated recommendation on how it plans to reopen the Union borders for international travel. It tells EU member states they can remove temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU as of July 1.
The Council specifically asks that EU countries start lifting the travel restrictions for the following third countries:
Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.
The restrictions for the listed countries should be removed based on certain criteria depending on the epidemiological situation and the containment measures undertaken to manage the Covid-19 pandemic in a country, including physical distancing as well as economic and social considerations.
According to the Council statement the list will be revised every two weeks. If countries fall behind the set criteria they will be removed from the list. Furthermore, if countries not currently in the list improve their containment level of the pandemic they will be added to the list.
The U.S. is not part of the list, however. No surprise there keeping in mind the current outbreak of cases in the U.S.
Americans, however, can travel to the UK and Ireland. Both countries are not part of the Schengen Area – the free movement zone of Europe. Bare in mind that upon entering these countries the travelers have to self quarantine for 14 days; this is not a recommendation. For instance, for violating your quarantine in Britain you can end up with £1,000 or approx. $1,230 fine.
And even if you make it safe out of the 14-day quarantine in Britain or Ireland you will most likely not going to be able to travel any further in Europe. It may be possible to travel to another EU country only if you show proof of residence or you have close relative ties in that country.
If you’re already in the EU and want to travel around Re-open EU is the best place to find travel information specific to the country you want to visit.
Even though many EU countries now lift travel bans and temporary restrictions the situation with Covid-19 is fluid and can rapidly change. Remember that the U.S. Department of State still recommends to refrain from any non-essential travel at this time.
Before you book a flight call or visit the website of the airline you plan on traveling with to find more information about Covid-19 policies and restrictions.