France Becomes Latest European Country to Change Entry Policy for U.S. Travelers — What to Know
Countries including Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and Bulgaria have changed their policies regarding American travelers after the European Union removed the U.S. from its safe travel list.
After the EU removed the United States from its pandemic-era list of safe countries, European countries started to shift their entry policies — including banning travelers — concerning American tourists.
France has banned unvaccinated Americans from entering the country, according to a government decree issued Thursday removing the U.S. from the country's safe list of its own. Unvaccinated travelers, with an essential reason for travel, will still be allowed to enter however they will need a negative COVID-19 test before travel and must quarantine for seven days on arrival.
U.S. travelers heading to Spain will need to be fully vaccinated in order to visit, as the United States has been removed from its "safe" list. Previously, those who were not vaccinated were able to enter Spain with a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
Denmark re-classified the U.S. as an "orange" country, banning unvaccinated Americans from visiting. Previously, American tourists could enter Denmark by showing a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery.
The Netherlands has classified the U.S. as a "very high-risk area," mandating American travelers be fully vaccinated to enter for nonessential reasons, according to the government. However, travelers will also have to self-quarantine, and show proof of a negative test to enter (either a PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure).
The testing requirements go into effect Sept. 6.
Sweden has reimplemented a ban on nonessential travel from the U.S., referred to as a direct "result of an update of EU recommendations regarding travel into the EU from third countries," according to the government. The ban will also go into effect on Sept. 6.
Bulgaria, one of the EU's 27 member states, classified the U.S. as a "Red Zone" country this week, also banning travel for non-essential reasons, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria.
"Under the Bulgarian Ministry of Health order, countries are classified as green, orange, or red zones based on their COVID-19 risk," the embassy wrote. "That means persons arriving from the United States, regardless of their citizenship, are prohibited from entering Bulgaria unless they meet an exception listed below."
Italy became the first EU country to impose stricter entry requirements on American travelers, requiring them to show proof of vaccination and proof of a negative test to enter. Unvaccinated travelers will have to undergo a mandatory quarantine.
Even before the EU's decision, Germany had declared the U.S. a 'high-risk' country, requiring American tourists to either be fully vaccinated or show proof they contracted COVID-19 and recovered to enter the country.
But not every country has decided to crack down on U.S. travelers. Portugal will continue to allow American tourists, according to the country's tourism site, which was updated on Tuesday. U.S. travelers 12 and older must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding a flight or proof of a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding a flight. Alternatively, travelers can show a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate.
All travelers must fill out a Passenger Locator Card.
"Portugal has confirmed that discretionary, non-essential travel is still allowed, provided visitors present a negative COVID-19 test result at boarding and entry into the country," Visit Portugal said in a statement, according to USA Today.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.