December 3, 2021

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Just Do Travel

EU Set To Discuss Reapplying Travel Restrictions To U.S.

2 min read

Just as both the EU and the U.K. are open to fully vaccinated U.S. tourists at the same time, it appears the EU will discuss reimposing travel curbs on travelers from the U.S. next week, as reported by Bloomberg.

The EU added the U.S. to its list of safe countries in June, which currently includes Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Republic of North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, and the U.S. (China is a possibility if the move is reciprocated, which is currently not the case).

One of the criteria for being placed on this safe list is that the country does not have more than 75 new Covid-19 cases daily per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days and in June, this was the case for the U.S.–however, Bloomberg reported that they had been told the 14-day rate is just under 270 daily cases per 100,000 people, meaning that it is well above the threshold for staying on the list.

The news is likely to be worrying to airlines, where despite the move not being reciprocated (the U.S. is still closed to EU travelers), transatlantic airline routes between the U.S. and EU countries have recovered to 50% of pre-pandemic levels. If the EU decides once more to limit U.S. trips, this would be a cause for concern for airlines such as Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Air France-KLM.

Airlines for Europe, a trade group that represents European airlines, told Bloomberg that “increasing vaccination levels means the incident rate should not be the only criteria dictating policy decisions.”

Whilst it is thought that the EU might still allow fully vaccinated travelers in, it would still impact upon air travel figures.

As reported by The New York Times, as of 6 August, the U.S. is averaging more than 100,000 daily cases, for the first time since February, driven primarily by the surge in infections of the Delta variant of Covid-19 across U.S. states with lower levels of vaccination.