How the US easing travel restrictions affects France, Germany, and the United Kingdom

The CDC updated its travel guidance this week as vaccinations pick up in many rich countries and people clamor for holidays. …

Many rich countries are adjusting their travel rules this month as vaccination rates take off and people clamor for summer holidays.

This week, the US State Department upgraded the safety status of 85 countries that vaccinated US travelers can now go to—although it is still not recommending overseas travel.

Which countries can vaccinated Americans travel to?

The State Department’s new recommendations follow a change in guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but also consider other factors, like countries’ political stability and whether they themselves allow US travelers in.

The department’s updated list groups countries and territories into four categories:

  • Level 1: “Exercise Normal Precautions”
  • Level 2: “Exercise Increased Caution”
  • Level 3: “Reconsider Travel”
  • Level 4: “Do Not Travel”

Below are some examples of countries where the State Department says Americans can go—although not all of these countries will actually let them in—and can’t go.

As of today (June 9) France is open to vaccinated travelers from the US (with a Covid test) and the EU (without one). Canada is reportedly planning to ease restrictions for vaccinated Americans at the end of the month.

Who can enter the US?

The US is still heavily restricting travel from overseas. Barring some exemptions, entry into the US is still forbidden by presidential proclamation for travelers who are not US citizens or permanent residents and who have been in the following 36 countries or territories in the past 14 days:

Is travel from the US to the UK allowed?

The UK is a notable case because it has vaccinated more than 75% of adults with at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (and 50% with two doses) and its government is hoping to leverage that success to launch a quarantine-free corridor with the US for vaccinated travelers from both countries. But the Delta variant is spreading quickly in some UK communities and could delay a planned nationwide reopening on June 21.

The UK is on the State Department‘s “Reconsider Travel” list, but travelers from the UK still cannot enter the US. Meanwhile, the US is on the UK’s “amber list,” meaning that travelers from there can enter the UK but only if they quarantine for 10 days and take 3 Covid-19 tests (one before departure and two during quarantine).

UK prime minister Boris Johnson reportedly hopes to come to an agreement on back-and-forth travel with US president Joe Biden during this week’s G7 Summit in England. Major airline bosses and airport executives say it’s now or never. John Holland-Kaye, the CEO of Heathrow Airport, said in a joint statement with other CEOs of airlines that fly the US-UK route: “We cannot continue to keep locked-up indefinitely. Politicians should seize on the successful vaccination programs in our two countries to begin looking to a future where we manage Covid rather than letting it manage us.”

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