The European Union removed the U.S. from its safe travel list Monday and is recommending its member nations place restrictions on travelers from the U.S. due to surging coronavirus cases in the country caused by the delta variant, reversing its decision in June to lift most travel restrictions for U.S. travelers.
Each of the 27 countries within the European Union will need to decide whether they will follow the guidance given and what rules to reinstate for U.S. travelers, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. has averaged 588 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, well above the European Union safe travel threshold of 75 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days, according to Bloomberg.
Any new restrictions will mainly affect unvaccinated U.S. travelers, The New York Times reports, as most countries in the EU will likely require them to show proof that they have gotten a European Union-approved vaccine, which includes Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, to travel without having to quarantine or undergo additional testing.
The removal of the U.S. from the European Union’s safe travel list was expected, as the U.S. has seen an upward trend of Covid-19 cases since July, according to the CDC’s Covid-19 tracker. In June, the European Union recommended gradually lifting restrictions on non-essential travelers from the U.S. because of declining Covid-19 cases in the country. Travelers from the U.S. were able to avoid quarantine and testing in some EU countries if they were vaccinated, though the European Commission still recommended requiring a negative Covid-19 test prior to travel.
The U.S. ban on EU and U.K. travelers, which was announced in March, 2020, is still in place, despite pressure from airlines and travel agencies to open U.S. borders to them. The White House said in July it has no plans to lift the travel restrictions on EU and U.K. travelers amid the rise in delta variant cases.