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European vacation is (almost) back

The EU will begin lifting all restriction on U.S. travelers. So, where will you go first?

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Tourists throw their coins into the Trevi fountain in downtown Rome.

In this Friday, June 4, 2021, file photo, tourists throw their coins into the Trevi fountain as a wish to come back to the eternal city, in downtown Rome.

Gregorio Borgia, Associated Press

Summer travel is coming back for U.S. travelers looking to pop over to mainland Europe for a vacation. As of Friday, the EU officially recommended lifting all restrictions on travelers from 14 countries, including the U.S., says CNN.

  • Travel between the EU and the U.S. still remains one-sided with European travelers — even vaccinated ones — not being allowed to enter the U.S., reported The New York Times.

The EU recommended lifting restrictions

The EU governing body recommended that member states “gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders” for travelers from the U.S., per CNN. This applies to essential and nonessential travel as well as vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

  • This reopening recommendation comes more than one year after the EU banned all nonessential travel from the U.S., said CNN.
  • The decision to reopen travel with the U.S. comes from an acceptable “epidemiological situation and overall response to COVID-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources,” CNN reported.

However, the EU’s recommendation is not legally binding and member countries have the final say in when and how they reopen, according to USA Today.

Are there still regulations on entering the EU from the U.S.?

Yes, since each EU member country can choose not to reopen their border or to reopen their borders with particular requirements, according to The New York Times. European countries can still require mandatory quarantines, proof of vaccination or a recent negative PCR test.

  • These requirements may change following the new EU recommendation.

Where to first?

So far, U.S. vacationers are allowed entry into these four countries, according to The New York Times:

  • Greece: All U.S. travelers are welcome so long as they present proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Italy: The country announced they would reopen to U.S. travelers in a similar manner as Greece.
  • Portugal: The country opened to U.S. travelers on Tuesday and, despite a lockdown to control rising cases, has not announced a change in entry restrictions, said The New York Times.
  • Germany: Americans of any vaccination status will be welcome in Germany, as well as all vaccinated non-EU citizens, beginning on June 20.

Concerns remain about reopening travel while highly contagious new variants, like the delta variant, continue to spread, reports The New York Times.