The EU Extends Ban on Travelers to Two New Countries

The European Union this week amended its list of countries allowed to enter the EU, but once again left the U.S. out in the cold.

The latest list, released Thursday, removed two countries previously allowed to enter the EU — Montenegro and Serbia — while allowing the other 12 to continue to enter. People from the U.S., are still barred from coming in, according to the European Council.

“The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover, in particular, the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations,” the European Council said in a statement.

Currently, the European Council allows 12 non-EU countries to enter: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. China would also be allowed in if China in turn allows European citizens to enter their country.

Countries allowed to enter the EU have new COVID-19 cases close to or lower than the EU average, per 100,000 people over the past 14 days, along with a stable or decreasing trend of new cases. The list will be reviewed every two weeks.

But individual European countries are allowed to set their own rules.

“The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument,” the European Council said in the statement. “The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.”

Austria, for example, does not allow residents of any non-EU countries to enter, according to the Re-Open EU website. And Croatia has reopened its borders to non-EU citizens for tourism, including U.S. citizens, as long as visitors show proof of a reservation for a hotel or other accommodation, according to the Croatian Ministry of Interior. Tourists in Croatia will not have to quarantine if they provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours.

In the meantime, there are more than a dozen countries Americans can visit this summer beyond the EU, from exciting safari adventures to the pristine beaches of Caribbean islands.