External European Border Closure Extended To July 1

Filed Under: Travel

Update: The European Union has now released final details about who will be allowed in as of July 1, 2020.

I wrote a few days ago about how it looked like European border closures may be extended, and that’s now official.

European border closures extended

Prior to this week, most external European borders were closed for non-essential travel through June 15, 2020. This policy was for 30+ countries, including European Union countries, plus Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

The reopening date for external borders had already been pushed back twice, as the closure was initially through mid-April, and then after that was extended through mid-May.

The European Commission has today made a new recommendation, that Schengen Member States and Schengen Associated States should:

  • Lift internal border controls as of June 15 2020
  • Prolong the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the European Union until June 30, 2020
  • Set out an approach to progressively lift restrictions afterwards

EU border closures have been extended through June 30

Americans (and others) could be banned from much of Europe all summer

As of now the recommended restrictions are through June 30, though they could be extended. Crucially, the announcement makes it clear that:

  • Even in July, the recommendation won’t be to open external borders across the board, but rather to ease restrictions for selected countries
  • This would be done based on a set of principles and objective criteria, like the health situation, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, reciprocity considerations, and data from the ECDC and WHO

As Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, describes the recommendation:

“Following the lifting of all internal border checks inside the Union, we are proposing a clear and flexible approach towards removing restrictions on travel to the EU starting on 1 July. International travel is key for tourism and business, and for family and friends reconnecting. While we will all have to remain careful, the time has come to make concrete preparations for lifting restrictions with countries whose health situation is similar to the EU’s and for resuming visa operations.”

Based on this it seems highly likely that most of Europe won’t be opening up to visitors from every country this summer. Beyond that, it seems likely that Americans may be among those excluded from many European countries.

Americans may not be allowed in many parts of Europe this summer

Implications of EU borders remaining closed?

As you might expect, borders remaining closed potentially has a lot of implications, especially as different countries are at different stages of handling the current pandemic:

  • In addition to external borders opening up, another point of discussion revolves around borders between European countries reopening, as many countries haven’t allowed free movement within the EU
  • Since there have been restrictions on free travel anyway, countries don’t necessarily have to go along with the recommendation of the European Commission, though that could create further complications; up until now countries have overwhelmingly followed this guidance, but I wouldn’t expect this to continue

In the immediate future this is bad news for Greece, Iceland, and Portugal, which were looking forward to welcoming tourists as of June 15, 2020. These plans are now likely put on hold.

Iceland won’t open to Americans until at least July 1

This really is a time for planning last minute travel

As I wrote about last week, if you’re going to travel this summer, it really pays to book very last minute. Iceland was supposed to open to tourists from around the world as of June 15, but with this update that has been pushed back to July.

It’s anyone’s guess if and when someone from a particular country will be able to travel to Europe.

Traveling to Greece next week may be off the table for many

Bottom line

The European Commission has now recommended that countries keep external borders closed through at least June 30. While the 30+ European countries don’t have to follow these recommendations, it’s highly likely that they will.

Not only that, but even when restrictions are lifted, expect it to be a phased approach, and it’s unlikely that Americans will be among the first to be welcomed back in many countries.

For more on current restrictions, see our list of country closures and restrictions, updated every weekday.

  1. Opening the external EU borders is a true Pandora’s box: although the economic impact of an open-EU will be substancial, the risk of a second-wave of Covid-19 from countries abroad is even greater. I am firmly against the opening of the Schengen-border for non-residents, especially those from countries in North and South America. The member countries of the European Union have worked tirelessly to get a hold on the pandemic and implemented some of the most stringent quarantining guidelines… and this effort should not be held at the mercy of travels who are looking to take a vacation.

  2. I’ve got flights to Iceland booked for July 10… we will see what sticks…

    The level of inefficiency, time wasting, political posturing, grandstanding and health security theater on this is… mind boggling.

    Everyone country is in a race with others to do the stupidest things possible, as late as possible, with as much confusion as possible.

    Today the UK started mandatory quarantine.
    A month ago, everyone said, oh yeah, come to Greece June 15th… now… wait, 2 more weeks, that will fix EVERYTHING.

    And the public LOVES it. ‘Better safe than sorry’ they all say blindly.
    So, every politician says… ‘let’s wait two more weeks, because… that placates the masses’

    Good grief, these people couldn’t run a laundromat with decision making like this.

  3. Typical Europe and Europeans. Can’t get their house in order and commit to a proper timeline, politicize everything, and keep kicking deadlines down the road. *cough* brexit *cough*

    All the meanwhile look down your nose at America for much less and forget what america sacrificed and continues to sacrifice for europe to allow this level of incompetence…

  4. @Rober MacNamara — could you write a more insulting post? The reason Americans are blocked from visiting Europe is that we have tiny states with more new daily coronavirus infections than big countries like Germany and France with 80 and 60 million people. Until our epidemic gets under control. Americans — even Europeans resident in America — are going to have a heck of a time traveling anywhere in the EU/EFTA/EEA. Americans seem to think the EU will just ignore our appalling public health record, because dollar bills y’all, but that’s simply not the case. If anything, when the EU external border reopens, the Japanese and Australians will be invited back, but Americans will remain banned for additional time.

  5. There are 27 members of the EU not 26

    It’s 28 if you include the UK which is still effectivly a member until the end of the year though who knows if our borders are closed or not it depends who and when you ask.

  6. @james – compare per capita new cases of the entire usa vs all of europe. We’re actually doing a lot better. Not to mention, american tourists contribute significantly to the gdp of many smaller european countries. Let’s face it, europe needs us more than we need them right now. Looks like the europeans will finally hit their nato defense obligations for once… by cutting their gdp!

    No doubt they’ll come back and blame america for it somehow and ask for a handout since it’ll be our fault their economy tanks from 0 american tourism. As a us taxpayer, you should have an interest in this. We always end up footing the bill for europe’s mistakes, either directly or indirectly. At this point, the eu should just have the usa direct their foreign relations.

  7. @Rober MacNamara — your posts are unhinged. Until the U.S. gets its coronavirus situation under control, we won’t be traveling to the EU. Like Lucky, I’m a dual citizen with an EU passport and even I can’t easily travel to the EU right now. And, if I could, I would still feel awful, because it’s clear many EU citizens don’t want Americans visiting them right now. Your arrogance will not serve travelers from the U.S. well at all. And it’s clear you’re just trolling with the rest of your comment.

  8. James – i am not trolling. Sorry if i came off like that. I do believe that europeans have a tendency to be overly critical of the usa and ask our government for a large amount of aud.

    Stanley – most americans feel the same as i do. I have many friends in Europe and they are very welcoming to me

  9. @Rober McNamara

    Lol American exceptionalism. You’re about 60 years late with your argument.

  10. Can U.K. citizens go in and out of EU or are we already paying for the massive blunder that is Brexit?
    Genuine question by the way

  11. I don’t blame the Europeans if they stay closed other than within the Schengen it’s their right to as do there countries that are worried about reinfection, we all are. As for the “ugly American” syndrome that “James” has brought up is also a valid point. I personally think that we Americans should stay home for an extended period of time and enjoy our own country, certainly it would help the US economy rather than spending those dollars in a foreign, many of which don’t really like us anyway. So I say Stay Home America ! As for NATO let’s leave politics out ( I served once in NATO as an American flyer and have my opinions about that albatross )

    disclaimer I travel a great deal internationally and have had to cancel a number of trips.

  12. What everyone is focused on here seems to be leisure travel. Which I agree is a bit risky towards opening the flood gates. The problem though is that many of us have deals and meetings waiting and have been sitting on the burner for months. Ironically, Europeans are telling me that I should be making arrangements to come over to finish the work as, “everything is normal here now.” So, perhaps they don’t want tourists flocking the streets but they DO want business travelers making deals.

    With that I have booked a flight to VIE on July 2nd. Hoping it will be open. As I risk losing a large deal there if I wait much longer after.

    I am fine with the current requirement for Austria in coming with a test result taken within four days before or pay to get one at the airport. That is the easiest way to curb leisure travelers coming in throngs. Some will, but “Bob and Karen and their four kids” are not going to travel there right now if there are requirements like that. So it will be limited to mostly business travelers who are not impacting anything with crowding up landmarks or cities.

  13. “deals and meetings” – these should be the last people allowed in.
    The very definition of non-essential.

  14. @James don’t fall into his trap. He’s either a troll or a boomer with too much time on his hands

  15. We had a trip scheduled to Zurich/Paris in September but not going to book anything until we get more clarity. As an American, I find that some of my fellow Americans are quite arrogant and lack humility when it comes to travel, particularly with the thought that our money will solve everything. What we don’t see is America is THE epicenter of coronavirus outbreaks. We are figuratively the black sheep at the moment. Why would any other country want to welcome us in with the increased risk of seeding a new wave of infections?

    I genuinely don’t see any unencumbered international travel from the USA until 2Q 2021. I think it’s very telling that all of our professional sports leagues are trying to finish their currently delayed seasons by early fall. They know it might be a particularly brutal winter.

  16. @Bob. Tell that to the Europeans who are pushing me to find a way to get there. Why? Because our firm presents to them the opportunity for far more money and market than they can get dealing with a European firm. Or, at the very least, I push their local Euro market to bid higher. This is the beauty of a global economy. Europe will be fine with no tourism for a summer. But the large scale damage to closing off borders and forcing business to be regionalized could have huge repercussions. Is it essential? No. And I would prefer to wait. My point is that they don’t want to wait and are desperate for me to get back and finish…it’s funny how money does that.

  17. @Richie Rich. You actually bring up a great point that I keep hearing from others. From the business standpoint many are thinking that the summer is our one window to get some travel in to make deals that have been waiting. Feeling that come October we could very well be in for more global shut downs. A few companies I work with in Europe are encouraging everyone to work through August (which is unheard of) so as to generate as much as possible in case of a difficult winter.

  18. @rober McNamara

    Until now most people visiting the US require an esta which they most pay for. They are required to fill out a form with personal data none of which is required for Americans coming to Europe.

    Hopefully once this is over , Americans should be required to complete an online form , answer person questions and pay a fee

  19. Personally, I favor some facts based regulation, like the one applied by the Baltic states, at least for visitors from other European countries. They prohibit the entry to travellers originating from countries with a COVID-19 incidence rate of more than 25 cases per 100 000 population over the last 14 calendar days. Between 15 and 25 cases per 100 000, they require self isolation and those from countries with less than 15 cases can enter without restrictions. I think this is a fair balance between the concerns of the resident population and those who want to visit.

  20. A lot of the EU vs US posturing (and Canada vs. US posturing) is purely politics. Here is a chart I produced of Covid deaths per capita for the US, Canada, and Western Europe: https://ibb.co/9gDgYGY

    Western Europe has had 150% the number of deaths as the US. The rise and decline of deaths per capita is very similar in terms of speed (the EU peaked about two weeks before the US, and are about 2 weeks ahead of the decline). The US today, Canada today, and Western Europe two weeks ago have almost identical deaths per capita from Covid. This is raw government data, with one correction to handle Spain’s strange reporting last week as documented in the Financial Times.

    Places like Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii had similar outcomes to New Zealand – but Europe has fawned over Jacinda Ardern not David Ige. Even worse, the outcomes in Eastern Europe have been *much* better than Western Europe, but you don’t hear nearly the same kind of “how did Western Europe go so much worse” rhetoric. On a number of counts, such as the % of population who wear masks, the US blows away Western Europe.

    I don’t mind countries making rules related to Covid. But let’s at least use rules with a rational basis.

  21. The EU is right to be cautious. And the ban on non-EU citizen travel into the EU is aimed not just at the U.S. – as one would think from some of the posts here – but from the entire non-EU world. Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Iran, India, Brazil, Russia, some parts of Africa and the Middle East have a serious Covid situation. They too are banned from entry. The U.S. too must be cautious and continue to restrict entry from abroad.

    I believe by July/August we’ll see the EU entry relaxed. By September I’m hoping to travel to the EU. However, any travel arrangements that I make will indeed be last minute. There could be a resurgence, a second wave, but no one knows how things will unfold.

  22. Not really shocking that countries in Europe wouldn’t want a bunch of Americans from the US coming in and reinfecting their country. Virus cases continue to climb in the south and the rush to reopen has made us a pariah in the travel world. When the inevitable second wave comes that is going to be the final nail in the economic coffin for the US. People whining about how much economic pain the stay at home caused have no idea the economic pain that will be caused by states that prematurely opened and will put the country back into shutdown eventually.

  23. @Ben Holz – i am a boomer. Not sure why that’s an insult these days. However i am not a troll and resent that insinuation.

    Icarus – totally reasonable for europe to make us fill out forms too if that’s what they decide is best for them. I remember there was a spat between the eu and usa a few years ago because Romanians and Bulgarians were ineligible for etsa and made to apply for a full visa. EU was not happy since i believe there is a bilateral agreement between the eu and us about this that stipulates reciprocity for all eu member states. EU had threatened to make us fill in forms back in the early 2010s but the blinked because american tourism was too important for their economies.

  24. This website is great because it helps us learn all the catty catch phrases/”current” terms that the kids are using/have used.
    Including but not limited to:

    *ok boomer
    *yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas kweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen
    *living my best life
    *rosé all day
    *but first brunch
    *power bottom

  25. So are we all still in favor of “open borders” and “global citizenship” or has that shipped sailed for now?

  26. There are 27 not 26 member states of the EU (28 including UK since UK is following all EU laws until December 2020) Also so pleased we are finally introducing ETIAS for Americans visiting here! ESTAS are so unfair!

  27. Just cannot believe the audacity of some”ugly Americans” in this thread. I would like to travel to Europe also but I respect their fear of new infections through US travellers. Would anyone of you will die soon if they cannot travel in July or August or September to Europe or are you fleeing the virus from your city??
    Suddenly these travels are “essential” and MUST travel to Europe as soon as possible. Unbelievable, no wonder the Europeans wants the Americans out because of such idiotic attitudes!

  28. @Kevin Bryan,

    “The US today, Canada today, and Western Europe two weeks ago have almost identical deaths per capita from Covid. ”

    The USA has about 350 deaths per 1M population; Canada has about 210. If you want to gain credibility by spouting ‘facts’, at least get them correct.

  29. @pierre seems to be one of the enlightened europeans, speaking the truth about china! I thought macron your president would be one too but sadly not, though he did finally bring you up to your required nato contribution level!

    @darren – were you referring to me previously? Thank you for the compliment!

  30. @ Rober MacNamara

    Franco American here with dual citizenship. I am extremely proud of one of my Presidents. Totally ashamed by the other. Not sure I’ll be able to continue using my Chinese visa. Actually not even certain that returning to HK will be safe.

  31. Regardless of political posturing, one didn’t have to be Einstein to work out that projections about imminent reopening of borders were , at best, ludicrously optimistic. International travel for leisure was never going to happen in 2020. Suggestions about a return to something even a fraction of normal …perhaps a combination of wishful thinking and gross naivety.
    Fortunately the majority of the loony COVID denier posters ( “ it’s just a flu”, “ more people die in swimming pools”, “ the cure is worse than the illness “) have had the good grace to disappear.
    It’s unfortunate that some appear to be so desperate to get on a plane, even when there’s no compelling reason to do so. The haste is slightly indecent.

  32. @Pierre
    @R M.Namara

    Welcome! You can have “compliments” of such kind anytime. People like you should always be remembered, if you have a verbal diarrhea than you have to stuff in. We already have a virus roaming, we do not need more of your kinds.

  33. @ Ben

    Nine hours ago, ChrisC, in a comment, pointed out a factual error in your article. There are currently 27 members of the European Union, not 26 as you have stated. Why have you not corrected your error?

  34. @Pierre
    You should hand in your American passport if you say disrespectful things like this. We are the greatest nation on this planet.

  35. @darren

    > “we do not need more of your kind”

    This speaks volumes about the type of person you are. Absolutely disgusting. You must be jealous of this rich black boomer.

    @donna based on his comment that got removed, i can say he’s proud of the american president! #freehk

  36. Greece is accepting US passport passengers with a one night hotel stay in Athens to do a COVID test. We’ve sent quite a few passengers already via Paris AF. In case anyone wants to get to the islands!

  37. People get anxious that Europe doesn’t let North and South Americans in. So what about US, why don’t they let Europeans in?

    All of Europe (excluding UK as they don’t feel that European any more) has less new infections than the US so Europe -> US tourism would be much safer.

  38. To adam’s point, greece also spends more than 2% of gdp (2.39%) on defence, meeting nato’s requirements.

    I would not be surprised if poland, the baltic states, and britain start letting americans in as well. Our ticket into Schengen!

  39. For me it a big ho hum. Couldn’t care less about travel to Europe. All my plans are a year out and do not have Europe in the mix. So many other places to see. So what Europe does or doesn’t do regarding travelers from the US is irrelevant to me.

  40. For me it a big ho hum. Couldn’t care less about travel to Europe. All my plans are a year out and do not have Europe in the mix. So many other places to see. What Europe does or doesn’t do regarding travelers from the US is irrelevant to me.

  41. For me it a big ho hum. Couldn’t care less about travel to Europe. All my plans are a year out and do not have Europe in the mix. So many other places to see. What Europe does or doesn’t do regarding travelers from the US is irrelevant to me.

  42. The article deals with European border closures, yet some feel the need to discuss NATO spending requirements 😉
    Welcome to the “new normal”

  43. @Aztec,

    I literally posted a graph of deaths per capita per day (in a 7 day rolling average). Canada *was* doing better than the US. However, in the last two weeks, they have had slightly more deaths per capita than the US.

  44. Elijah – nz and au do as they’re told. They’ll open up to americans quickly. They followed us into Vietnam (as told), contributing 50k troops.

    Much better than the useless nato allies.

  45. @ Robert MacNamara
    sadly the US is emerging as nothing more than a busted flush, increasingly european countires are relying less and less on the US especially your mass market low value tourists. its mildly amusing you think you are still relevant

  46. All this blather about the superiority of the US is crazy. How the spending on NATO, GDP numbers, whether you are a boomer, and false beliefs you are the greatest, got into this blog is almost sick. Your streets are overrun with protesters for a reason, you don’t walk the walk, you just talk about civil rights and liberties. Your police and military can’t even control themselves while facing the crowds protesting their actions. Your so-called great president clears the streets for a photo op holding a bible like it is a snake ready to bite him (I wouldn’t blame the bible if it was and did). He hides in a bunker and builds fences around the WH like the coward he is even with hundreds of secret service around and oh yes, “most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons”. Just admit, you live in a broken country now. Fix it, then ask other countries to let you in. Your “rights” end at your border.

    And yes, I have a US passport. I am a “boomer” and accept the negative reactions that come with that label. Just like I do from the term “white privilege”. Things need to be fixed. Europe doesn’t need to bow to my desires to travel. They do what is best for them. Travel there can be done at a later date.

  47. @Robert Mcnamara “compare per capita new cases of the entire usa vs all of europe. We’re actually doing a lot better. Not to mention, american tourists contribute significantly to the gdp of many smaller european countries.”

    So I’m late to the party but this is definitely wrong. Take yesterday for example–based on Worldometers data, Europe had 14,468 cases, which includes Russia, whereas US had 19,044. US has a population of 330 million, whereas Europe has upwards of 740 million (and that only includes the European portion of Russia, whereas the case numbers above include all of Russia). So, per capita, the US has almost 3x as many new cases as Europe.

    On your second point, they tourism does contribute a significant amount to many smaller European countries, but these aren’t all American tourists. And considering everyone shut down even larger parts of their economies for the coronavirus earlier this year, I’m guessing they’d rather have some intra-European tourism, along with the other sectors that have reopened since complete lockdowns, than risk complete lockdowns again.

  48. >Greece was also planning on welcoming many tourists as of June 15, 2020, but that could now be put on hold.

    Yes, we Europeans are just props for you to enjoy when you come visit. We aren’t actual tourists, ya know.

  49. Americans are in no position to insist upon their “right” to fly to Europe. Our national COVID-19 response has been atrocious, and a large segment of our population has been publicly proclaiming their “right” to ignore medical precautions such as wearing masks, maintaining social distance, avoiding large gatherings, etc. Why would Europe want to take a chance on admitting Americans? If I were a European decision-maker, I would not only be looking at European COVID-19 statistics, but also at the American COVID-19 statistics before opening up travel from the US.

  50. @ R M Namara

    ..you are welcome!.Your knowledge is only about verbal diarrhea, NATO spendings and such crap. You are one “ugly American” who realises that US military support is not such a demand now. You are simply obsolete and not needed anymore! By now I did not expect much from you. You certainly are too late for the Cold War.It is over! Perhaps try to ask Putin for a job.

  51. @ Rober Macnamara, I didn’t realize that any of my posts had been taken out. I still see them all.
    @ Donna AND Rober Macnamara, before you both appparently call me names, can you try to agree about what I have written? One of you didn’t get it.

  52. I have never shied away from expressing my opinions in the comments here at OMAAT. Sometimes, I admit, even getting a bit heated. Sure, we have differences and people have their own take on things. But I never thought I would see in 2020 such disturbing, almost Nationalist comments, that seem to mark a regression from how much progress has been made in the past 40 years with Globalism and nations working together for the better of the world as a whole.

    While we may see it in our leaders, Trump is the most to blame for this, I had hoped that people would, in general, still defend the progress of borders breaking down, walls destroyed, and all of us working together across cultures in spite of what a few “populist” leaders say on behalf of the minority of most nations.

    It’s so sad to see Americans here acting entitled with their words. While at the same time so sad to see Europeans lumping all Americans into a stereotype that is not only wrong but giving fuel to the fire of populism. Everyone insulting each other. We all have our faults as nations and people. We have all made mistakes. No reader here from any country can claim some superior righteousness that excludes them as being special or allowing them to humiliate someone just because of the passport they carry. While we can disagree on certain issues – we really are not so different from each other. And most of us, the ones that travel around the world and experience these myriad of cultures, should know better than to sling back and forth so many generalizations.

    America bashing, China Hating, Brexit, and on and on. It’s as if the past 40 years of progress in the world is tumbling apart. The virus being the nail in the coffin of destroying everything we worked for. Yet, in spite of it, I thought the majority of people were better than this. I certainly imagined that those of us who traveled knew the reality and ignored populist sentiments and helped to foster understanding. Reading the comments here today I can see I was wrong. It’s so disturbing.

  53. @Stuart – very well written. Fortunately for us the temporary occupant of the White House will be gone in a little under 5 months, and we can get back to true leadership and start the healing process.

    The racists, xenophobes, nationalists, etc. will still exist in the US, but they no longer will have amplification at the highest levels of government.

  54. I rather disagree. I think the complete inability to tolerate diversity of opinions is intellectual laziness, nothing more.

    Europeans wanting to keep our border closed isn’t ‘omg, H i t l e r’. It’s our sovereign choice, and you can like it or not.

    Please stop exporting American domestic squabbles. You’re just not that important, guys.

  55. @Stuart and to a couple of others——-I agree with your last comment. Specially this OMAAT blog becoming rather sickening and pathetic with all the snide, political, bigot and vengeful rhetoric going on lately.

    @Ben ( Lucky) , I will continue to read your OMAAT , but I will definitely STAY AWAY from ever reading the comments section again. Too many babies throwing their toys out of the pram (dare I lower myself to their standards by also saying throwing out as well their diarrhea soiled diapers ) .

  56. @StuartP, you’re the one being hysterical about a reasonable, adult conversation. I’m sorry we Europeans refuse to go along with your domestic political agenda, but keep in mind we have our own things to deal with.

    The whole world doesn’t revolve around America.

  57. @matt fortini – every head of state in your country in the past generation has been implicated in a sex scandal or had ties to the mafia. At this point you’d think it’s a requirement to join italian parliament!

  58. @Robert MacNamara: Europeans don’t have issues with their politicians having sex with a spouse or anyone else. That is an American issue. But that said, those living in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing stones. So if you are so dead set on going to Europe you should try to learn a little about the people.

  59. Ray – as i understand burlesconi was accused of sex with minors. Public absolutely should care about this imo. If euros think that’s normal, then even more messed up than i originally thought.

  60. February might seem like a lifetime ago, but some may recall Firenze mayor Dario Nardella urging people to #AbbracciaUnCinese. Bravo, Sindaco Nardella! Among certain groups fear of being seen as racist trumps fear of a supposedly deadly virus (see also public health officials’ approval of mass anti-racist protests). De Blasio and Barbot were also urging New Yorkers to go on with their lives as usual and celebrate Lunar New Year. I was in Firenze right before the nationwide lockdown was enacted. There were so many Chinese passengers on my flight out of the country (and one father and son were watching something on a phone without earphones, of course; they were scolded by a Russian passenger). I did not hug them. Border closures don’t really do much to prevent spread of the virus unless you have an early plan for eradication like Taiwan or New Zealand. For the US or EU it is pretty much useless. Pandemic theater, just like the already existing system of security theater for air travel. But, hey, just one life, because science!

  61. Not all of us who are hoping the restrictions lift (both ways) are doing it because we want to “leisure travel.” Some of us have been stranded on opposite sides of the ocean from our loved ones since March.

  62. As @Brandon has firstly commented, it is bad news for people who want to travel to GER (probably EU too) in July/August, they extend their travel ban till end of August. And they might extend it further if the infection does not retract properly. While they are opening for intra EU community travels.
    If the US do not get the infection under control, it would mean furthermore restrictions for US citizens travelling abroad. Main question is which countries will open first because of economic necessity to tourist travels or they will keep travel restrictions as the contagion would not retreat as planned.

  63. @darren – we went over this friend. The USA has the infection under control (relative to eu). This is just political grandstanding so europe can get a handout from uncle sam.

  64. For the time being, everyone’s priority is reopening internal borders. This is far more important to Europeans than external border. External border is associated with tourism, maybe some business travel, but internal borders affect day to day life of milions of Europeans. Some people were unable to meet their loved ones for three months, even though they live mere 10-20 km from them. I know stories of people who weren’t able to reunite with their partner.

    If opening internal borders is conditioned by a very careful approach to external borders, Europeans will take that deal in hearbeat. It’s now starting to look realistic that freedom of movement will be restored by the end of month, no one will give that up only to allow tourists from outside the Union. By the way, essential business travel has been allowed by many EU states all along.

    One more note: It’s not true that reopening has been “pushed back”. Reopening was never announced on the EU level. Of course, the restriction was issued with a validity up until a certain date, but it was always subject to a review. It was only some individual member states (+ Iceland) that announced reopening without coordination with others. While they are free to do that, it would mean rest of EU will block them from any internal reopening and clearly that’s not something they want.

  65. The US (328 Mio. Citizens) reported 17,376 new cases -compared to 4,416 in the EU/EEA/UK (520 Mio. Citizens).

    And then even in the EU/EEA/UK we still have internal borders, quarantine & entry restrictions. They should first be back to normal with no spike in new cases because of travel (just saying Ischgl which was a reason for a lot of cases around Europe thanks to skiing holidays in Austria).
    And then travel is still restricted- limit capacity of hotel rooms, restaurant, beach chairs, museums etc.
    So europe can’t cope with the overload of travel – will be interesting to see how the start of the main travel season will be handled) within EU &
    Co and not adding any foreign travel on top of that.

    And then the US has us banned until 21st July at least – so why should specially with the number of new cases the EU/EEA/UK open the borders first?

  66. @Robert: Sorry but no it doesn’t – Europe had over 500 million global visits in 2017 and just 16 Million from the UD.

    This is still about leisure travel, trade and production is still going on even with travel restrictions since goods are still been shipped etc. and yes it is a big partner but still “just” 18 % percent of exports (384 Billions) in goods happend to the US in 2019 and The EU imported 232 Billion in goods aswell. So our economy does not depend totally from the US or US travellers

  67. @tina – americans likely spend more than those other tourists, and american exports probably tend to be more expensive. You need to look at the chunk of $$$ that comes from the usa.

    Not to mention, a us travel ban will put a strain on your security situation since us bases in germany are a primary deterrent to aggression from russia and turkey. Especially now, you must be wary of the russian govt – covid may be a weakness they exploit.

    I’m not saying the usa is the most important for europe but it is critical. Important for eu leaders to pay attention to all this!

  68. @Robert: The difference in visitors could never make up in $ spend – and a lot of the numbers are visiting on a cruise ship (From a US company) aswell, so less money spend
    The export/import numbers are actually in € (or $) aswell, so a single item might be more expensive but that’s already taken account.

    The US soldiers stationed around Europe are not affected by the restrictions since those would be allowed (and Ramstein base might be totally different since the airport is on the base).

    And no – leisure travel from Americans aren’t import to open up the travel restrictions – I doubt thats even on the agenda. there are still to many daily cases happening in the US!!

  69. @tina – per capita, the usa has fewer cases. Maybe if your country took the money it saved from not meeting its NATO obligations and spent it on highly available test kits, this conversation would be different.

    Atm, ex-asia leisure travellers are less dangerous than ex-usa leisure travellers, who are wayy less dangerous than ex-eu leisure travellers, who are ever so slightly less damgerous than ex-africa leisure travellers.

  70. I have a friend in the Austrian Government who is very confident that the plan is, at least for Austria, to allow U.S. passport holders on July 1. With the already in place restriction of a negative test within four days or testing at the airport on arrival. I have a ticket booked for the 2nd unless that changes for work there. The testing requirement will assure it is people serious about coming, for business etc, and not families or tour groups. I will probably be restricted as to going to other countries but I am fairly confident that Austria’s approach will hold and they will open.

    I do not expect a total ban across the EU. Each country will make their own decisions and restrictions. I think Austria is reasonable and a good approach. It will limit movement across the EU but will allow targeted business travel to those countries that allow it.

  71. The US government has disgraced itself. We are pariahs of the international travel community now. All because some states were full of people that opened prematurely and who refuse to wear facemasks. The numbers are climbing in those states. I wish we could close state borders, because where I live we got this under control but down south its only go to get worse and yet I get penalized by being barred from international travel because certain states are filled with covidiots that don’t think this is a serious issue and who can’t be bothered to simply wear a damn mask.

  72. I have a ticket to travel from the US to Holland in July. I have a EU passport so I’m confident I can get in, but without that I’d put the odds around 5% or less.

  73. Not sure why countries don’t just get together and develop a system where people are tested for the virus before boarding the plane. If you have the virus you simply don’t fly. I know I don’t want to be on a plane with an infected person. Waiting until people get to a destination before testing them seems rather pointless, because by that point numerous additional people have been exposed and the infected person is already in your territory.

  74. @Stuart, the European Commission already announced they are going to recommend only 6 countries be allowed in on July 1: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. My guess is that the US will be added later in the summer. I don’t think any country, including Austria, would break ranks even if they wanted to, because there is no practical way to contain you in Austria once you’re within the Schengen zone.

  75. Don’t many Europeans travel in August and are off from school and work? That would seem like a risky time to resume international travel.

  76. @Chip. I find that interesting given Albania has rampantly become a hot spot with 10% of the population showing symptoms according the latest charts.

    But you may be right, I dunno, no one knows anything including those making these decisions. I’ll just navigate around whatever is to be.

  77. @Rober Macnamara,

    Either you are trolling or you are ignorant, these are the ACTUAL number of cases reported per million population…
    US 6,223 per million
    UK 4,292 per million
    Spain 5,191 per million
    Italy 3,906 per million
    France 2,383 per million
    Germany 2,229 per million
    Sweden 4,783 per million

    Looking at how number of cases are going up recently again in the US, EU is not gonna open borders for American leisure travelers unless cases start coming down. Not worth risk of thousands more deaths and overwhelming healthcare systems.

  78. @Lucky, it appears European Union citizens residing abroad — people like you and me — will now be able to conduct non-essential travel to the EU, something that currently isn’t allowed. Of course, I suppose some member states could still impose quarantines on EU citizens arriving from high-infection countries like the U.S. and Brazil. What follows is from the European Commission’s press release:

    “EU citizens and citizens of Schengen Associated States and non-EU nationals legally residing in the EU, as well as their family members, should also be exempt from the travel restriction regardless of whether or not they are returning home, as was the case until now.”

  79. @Rober MacNamara, not what you said few hours ago: “@tina – per capita, the usa has fewer cases.”

  80. @ Brandon: Juli to August are high season to travel because of school holidays (depends on the country and local state)

    @Robert: As mention “ The US (328 Mio. Citizens) reported 17,376 new cases -compared to 4,416 in the EU/EEA/UK (520 Mio. Citizens).” – this is a much lower new Case count in the EU both in total and per Million.
    Since the first test was developed outside of China in Germany there is a high amount of tests available which demand been a lot lower.

    @Stuart: I was also suprised – but the Sweden as the hot spot is also in included in the border opening but with country wide bans and quarantine restrictions.

  81. Ermm you do realise everyone else can’t travel to the USA either? It’s not just a one way street here. Until things are under more control it seems pretty sensible.

  82. @Rober MacNamara
    “The USA has the infection under control (relative to eu).” Really? The news paint different poctire.
    ” This is just political grandstanding so europe can get a handout from uncle sam.” -I must laugh on this. You really are deludional. Maybe that was true 60 years ago but not today. All those bs how Europeans need Us tourist shows me you stuck in time. Sorry to tell you but chinese now rules the world in tourism. (Not for 2020). And to the russian threat i have to say it again you are delusional somehow stuck in the past.

  83. I’m an American citizen living in a European country. Here’s my take on the question of travel, closed borders, and citizenship:

    As an American citizen, I have the right to fly and could fly to the US for a vacation despite the closure of borders to travellers from the EU. I would be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival under current US rules.

    I could then fly back to Europe and would be allowed in due to my EU residency, but in the country I’m in, I would also be asked/required to do a 14-day self quarantine.

    So at a minimum I would be expected to quarantine for 14-days on each side of the trip. Although I doubt that either the US or my home country in the EU would enforce it, I’d be breaking the rules (possibly law) on both sides. In addition I’d be potentially putting family, friends, and myself at risk due on either side. For that reason, even though I technically could travel and could probably do so without incident, I’m not comfortable breaking two sets of rules/laws and I’m not comfortable putting loved ones at risk. I’m also not willing to risk getting sick and stuck in the US given its lack of healthcare infrastructure.

    So to answer the question that Lucky continues to raise, yes, he could probably travel to the EU with his German passport and avoid the strict lockdown. But he’d be breaking rules on both sides if he didn’t follow the quarantine measures and he’d be adding risk to himself and others. Doesn’t seem worth it for a vacation that could easily be postponed. And, coming back to the US, there’s the risk of another March 31 where the president issues an edict and brings complete chaos and heightened risk through another poorly executed travel ban/border closure that could leave Lucky stranded abroad or having to shell out thousands to get back before the next lockdown.

  84. Let’s not over complicate things here. The EU is unlikely to be welcoming to US tourists for a few more months, unless Covid spread falls more in the US or unless rapid testing is available at more airports. These are economies that can survive a season without US travel. Until then, average US tourists should save their cash or focus on domestic travel. International business travel may come back in the fall

  85. It’s funny that most do not seem to realize that Europeans also mostly want to abstain from leaving their own countries or Europe this year. Thus holiday destinations in Europe are already filling up with domestic tourists seeking a change of scenery. Those that were likely to go to Bali, the US or Cuba will now go to the Cote d’Azure, the Bretagne, Tuscany or the Cyclades or even up north.

    For border closures, EU internal borders have absolute priority. Much of our life evolves across borders, a concept Non-Europeans have – sometimes – difficulty grasping. Just imagine that you could not travel from Manhatten to Jersey City for several months. Leaving one Schengen country to go to another is as normal for us as for you going to the next town or state over. Accordingly, much of our live is cross border, from studying to working to finding love and creating a family. Much have lost valuable time and some have lost their last chances at saying goodbye to loved ones or their chances to be with their wifes when they gave birth, often despite low proliferation of covid across some closed internal borders. So pardon us if we have no inclination to welcome travelers from countries that are not doing a particularly good job in containing COVID either because they can’t or because they don’t want to. Please stay in your countries, Europe will be there if we all can travel again without restrictions.

  86. I agree with Max. I’m a European with a US holiday home. I cannot get over there either. I also cannot at this time enter my plan B,C or D vacation spots as inter-EU borders are closed. It looks like I may be able to get to France before summer is out but could be still subject to 14 day quarantine when I get home which I cannot pull off financially so no travel for me until Christmas 2020 at the earliest. Be grateful you guys have a huge country with no borders between states and make the most of it to visit with family and friends and explore the diversity of your country. Now is not the time to make inflammatory statements about the EU or throw a pity tantrum. This too will pass.

  87. @Tina

    Thank you for clarifying.

    I’m an American citizen who absolutely loves Europe, so please don’t think all of us act like Rober lol. I’m very aware of our failed leadership, and how the covid situation has been mishandled. I do not blame Europe at all for keeping Americans out and wanting to protect it’s citizens.

  88. @Brandon: no need to worry – we do know that there are not that many Roberts out there. Just didn’t want to leave his “fake facts” standing on here without clear data about the infection.

    And just as you would like to travel to the EU I’m still hoping for a November South State roadtrip (nothing planned yet – its the year for spontaneous travel)

  89. As a European living in Europe , it is interesting to read on this blog the criticism of Europe on how it is handling the Corona19 pandemic. Yes, some countries have not handled it well, but some have worked magnificently .
    Many of the critics appear to be American
    For Europeans, our assessment of how the USA has handled it is POORLY but Americans seem to thing they have done well. New York ??? .

  90. @experienced traveller, the nyc pandemic was caused by a large italian and chinese population traveling home and bringing the disease in.

    Get off your high horse bud. Check out san francisco, atlanta, seattle, and washington state friend.

    I could also point out examples like sweden, the uk, etc. Typical euro.

    Btw, you’re welcome for fixing your broken society and bringing peace by being back to back world war champs, the marshall plan, nato, allowing german reunification, and propping up your crap economies with tourism and trade.

    I’m a rich black boomer and I’ll always remember how poorly you treated us black folk when i had to travel to europe as a young black marine in the 70s.

  91. @Robert MacNamara-enough of your American’s are the winner attitude. Thanks to baby Bush, the Middle East turned into a complete disaster. Then your troops came and lost war after war. Face it, WW I and II were the end of the American power. And in WWII you had to drop a nuclear bomb and open a new can of worms in the world. Please stay home. Europeans will treat you just like you recall when you were a young marine in the 70’s. And please, your race or financial status means zero in this argument so please don’t try and exploit it because of the current unrest in your own borders. You were treated badly in Europe in the 70’s because nobody wanted the US military. Just stay home. We don’t want your ugly attitude here. Or your money. Your attitude is exactly why the term “Ugly American” was derived. I have lived here in Europe for a many years now and still have to prove I am not one of your type that is owed the world.

  92. @ray – nobody had any issue with the white soldiers. Going off base with a mixed group vs mostly black folk and the difference was stark.

    Thanks for letting me know that as a white man, you’ve never experienced racism in europe. Congrats!

  93. @cargocult: “The US has a far more diverse population and yet people still somehow manage to get along for the most part and prosper, as much as the media would like you to think otherwise.” Talk about one of the most tone deaf comments I have heard in my life. Maybe you should take a look at your streets, read the news you seem to doubt (sounds like a Trumpster to me even though you deny).

    “People like Ray like to think” don’t speak for me, you don’t represent me. When I want someone to know what I want them to think, I will say it.

    I love how you have steered the facts of the Covid numbers to where you want to see your country in good shape. You are still going strong and cases per million are a reflection of the overall status. Deaths have multiple reasons but first you get sick so start considering that fact. You are #1.

    I won’t comment on the post you sent regarding what I should be doing since Tiffany and Ben have obviously deleted it for it’s inappropriate language.

  94. @ray – no rebuttal for this rich black baby boomer?

    Thanks for whitesplaining European racism to us brother. Guess you’re just speechless.

  95. @Ray

    I am not surprised to see my comments moderated away. This blog has a leftist bias, which is fine, as it is Ben’s right to moderate it as he sees fit. He can’t claim to be impartial or on the side of truth, however. We see this in major platforms such as Twitter and YouTUbe. Even respected scientists with decades of experience can be censored for not toeing the party line. I stand by what I said about the US. Xi Jinping must be peeing in his pants at what is going on in the West. In service of their own Marxist agenda, a small element among the radical left would have you believe that all non-black Americans are racist. There is no doubt that there was much that was regrettable and racist in America’s history, but blacks in America still live better than most people anywhere else in the world, black or not, and certainly better than their African brethren. This is not to say that they do not face injustices even today, but painting anyone who doesn’t join the Maoist anti-racist mob as on the side of evil is pure sophistry. That you believe Western Europe is some sort of socialist wonderland that is so much better than the US demonstrates how blinkered you are, perhaps even white privileged (I have no idea if you are a racist white)? Europeans are just as racist as Americans, if not more so. Northern European countries with about 90% white populations are reacting to increased immigration with anti-immigration policies. The US is far more diverse, but keep thinking that it is irredeemably racist. Cases per capita aren’t as useful a statistic as deaths per capita given that we don’t have a complete picture of infection rates and likely won’t for a long time. Deaths are a pretty clear indicator, though. That you want to ignore the per capita death rankings again demonstrates just how disingenuous you are. Keep thinking you have a right to control the lives of others. I’ve flown about 20 segments and 50,000 miles since the pandemic started. I have no intention of stopping because a mob of innumerate martinets say so. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been wearing a mask since January and I’ve always practiced good hygiene. If officials had recommended that from the start instead of lying to the public about the efficacy of masks or that there was nothing to worry about, we wouldn’t be in this situation today. I for one am glad if you have decided to leave the US permanently. It doesn’t need any more ignorant haters. I actually follow the science. I actually follow the studies and examine the data. Pandemic hysterics such as yourself just see scary headline numbers and demand “safety” imposed from above. Save me, Jebus!

  96. To cargocult’s point, all the europeans in this thread (tina, ray, etc) stopped replying to me when they found out i was black! 😀

  97. For whatever it’s worth, FRANCE is reopening on July 1st for arrivals/departures from/to outside EU, NO QUARANTINE but strangely (at least announced as such) on RECIPROCITY. In other words “I’ll take yours if you take mine”, in other words, up to bureaucrats. (hmmmm…).

    This was officially announced this evening by French President (not a gold mine of reliability) who added: “Subject to necessary measures if need be”. Does it mean nothing? Probably. So this is just for info.

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