The European Union is recommending that borders be open to Americans, and to residents of several other countries, based on reduction in Covid-19 prevalence in these places. This is separate from the plan to re-open to vaccinated Americans, who – once this change is implemented in the next few days – will be able to visit and move within Schengen zone countries without quarantine.
These guidelines – which also now apply to visitors from Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong – would allow tourists with a negative Covid-19 test regardless of vaccination status. The ban on Americans will be lifted Europe-wide and it’s certainly time to lift restrictions for traveling to the U.S. as well.
The U.S. 14 day moving average of cases per 100,000 has moved below 75 and so the U.S. has been added to the European Union’s ‘safe list’. The list is reviewed every two weeks and an uptick in cases could lead to the U.S.’s removal from that list – you could buy tickets to travel and by the time your travel date approaches additional barriers could be in place. So you’re making a bet on ease of travel. However,
- Individual countries can impose stricter (testing, quarantine) requirements or less strict requirements (some European countries were already allowing in Americans)
- The U.S. seven day moving average has dipped below 60 or just over 4 cases per 100,000 per day. So we’re trending towards fewer cases, not more cases.
Confirmed cases is an odd metric since the level of testing – and so the propensity to identify virus spread – varies so significantly between countries and even regions within a country. That’s why many places have looked to positivity rates in addition to cases. Hospitalizations and deaths are a better metric because “you can’t make a body disappear.”