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Europe Is Reopening, but Probably Not to Americans

by Eben Diskin Jun 15, 2020

Europe might be gradually lifting its borders this summer, but that doesn’t mean everyone will be welcome.

After being given the green light by the European Commission, the Schengen countries and the Schengen-associated states of the European Union are allowed to lift internal border restrictions starting on June 15, with plans to allow travelers from beyond the EU on July 1. External EU borders will only be lifted, however, for residents of countries deemed safe, meaning the United States will most likely still be barred from entry.

The European Commission published guidelines to help EU members determine who will be allowed to visit and stated, “The restriction should be lifted for countries selected together by Member States, based on a set of principles and objective criteria including the health situation, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, and reciprocity considerations, taking into account data from relevant sources such as ECDC and WHO.”

Granit Sadiku, a researcher at Schengen Visa Info, isn’t too optimistic that US citizens will be among the first welcomed back to Europe. He told Forbes, “Given the U.S. currently has an average of about 345 active cases of coronavirus infections per 100,000 citizens, the chances are high that travelers from the U.S. will only be able to travel to the Schengen zone at a later date.”

Exceptions to this prediction include Greece and Portugal, which will soon reopen to travelers from the US. However, while the two nations are part of the Schengen zone, US travelers will not be allowed to cross their borders to other Schengen countries until the European Commission allows it.

The EU wants its members to regularly update the list of countries for whom travel is allowed, so while you shouldn’t book your flight for July 1, there’s still hope for later in the summer.

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