Europe Deciding Between Two Country Lists To Allow Entry Starting July 1. The U.S. Isn’t On Either.

Right now much of the world is closed to U.S. tourism. On the whole the Caribbean is opening, and the Maldives opens July 15. Turkey and Serbia are open. But most of the world that will accept Americans at least requires coronavirus testing on arrival or two week quarantine.

The E.U. is trying to come up with a list of countries whose citizens will be allowed to enter starting July 1. They can’t force their members to honor the list, but they want consistency. Without consistency in who can enter, they may not be able to open borders within the E.U. itself. Countries that are part of the Schengen Area traditionally do not have border controls on who can visit from within the bloc. There are three scenarios:

  1. Europe adopts a common set of countries whose citizens can enter, and those who cannot
  2. Europe doesn’t adopt a common list, and many countries keep their borders closed within Europe
  3. No common list, people can enter Europe via certain countries and then travel to other European countries that wouldn’t have otherwise allowed them in.

Greece has said they’d be open to the world starting July 1. Iceland has sought to open as well, with required testing. However the E.U. is currently pushing two lists of allowable countries.

  • A list of 47 countries with infection rates (over the past 14 days) that are lower than Europe’s 16 per 100,000 average.

  • A list of 54 countries with infection rates up to 20 per 100,000 average

The idea is that people allowed in are coming from places that don’t have greater prevalence of COVID-19 than Europe does. The U.S. has had 107 infections per 100,000 and Brazil has had 190. Russia is also well above the threshold for its citizens to be welcomed into Europe.

It’s time to lift the U.S. travel ban on Europe, it’s far less likely someone coming into the U.S. from Europe has the virus than someone already here. The China travel ban should be lifted as well. Perhaps the U.S. is waiting to use the ban as leverage to try to get other countries to re-open their borders, as opposed to using it as a tool to protect the country from the virus.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. @Tom

    The idea of air bridges, where you transit through hubs in Europe are currently being discussed. You won’t be allowed to leave the airport, etc, etc.

    You mention IST though: Not technically part of Europe (and won’t be whilst Erdogan is in power), so this is down to Turkey, not the EU

  2. Reading some of these ignorant comments astounds me. I hope people all understand that every county is trying to keep the hospitals from getting overwhelmed. Number of infections go up more hospital beds are needed. It’s not rocket science. People are being asked to social distance and wear a mask to keep infection rates from spiking.

  3. @George, for someone who has decided that others aren’t capable of math, you really aren’t capable at math. First, 500 cases/million/day using your 0.3% fatality rate does not mean 1.5 fatalities in a population of 7 million. You seem to not understand the concept of “per million”. Using actual math, rather than whatever you used, that makes the fatalities 7 times what you suggested, so now it is not 1.5, it is 10.5 fatalities per day. Further, your 0.3% fatality rate relies on there being a minimum of 9 undiagnosed cases for every diagnosed case (so there are actually 10 times the diagnosed cases). This has been seen in New York and the hard hit California counties and is what is used to come to your fatality rate. That means that if Arizona is having 500/day/million diagnosed, they are actually having 5000/day/million, which, combined with your other mathematical error, means that they are looking at eventually dealing with 105 extra deaths per day.
    I happen to actually lean toward your point of view, that shutting down the livelihood of an entire population was questionable at best, however, I also took that view with a realistic view of the cost in lives. As I asked earlier, are you okay with the loss of 1 million American lives and 25 million lives worldwide? From a cold hearted purely logical overarching point of view, those are actually a very reasonable price to pay compared to what the world is paying in response, but most people are never going to be able to view the potential death of a loved one, particularly an elderly loved one, through a coldly clinical statistical lense. I have this discussion with my wife regularly. I see a fatality rate in our area from Covid 19 that, if we didn’t know was due to Covid 19, would probably be written off as a standard statistical fluctuation. She sees it as threatening the lives of her 73 year old parents who live with us in our home. Both very valid points of view. I am not a cold blooded murdering psychopath for seeing the big picture and she is not an idiot for seeing the emotional individual impact of the threat that Covid poses.
    And for those of you who needed to make this political and compare the northeast democrat states to the southern republican states, just a note: California.
    140 cases/day/million.
    Seems to me that the biggest factor in the spread of the disease is how much time people are spending indoors. Earlier, when it was cold, it was northern states like New York, New Jersey, Washington, etc. now that people on those states can get outside without freezing their butts off, the threat has subsided. On the other hand, now it is is Arizona, California, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida that have the biggest outbreaks. What do they all have in common? Not which party they vote for. Not how quickly or slowly they have reopened. Arizona is sllnfvyhe fastest to reopen, California along the slowest. The one thing they have in common is that they are freaking hot in the summer, so everybody huddled inside where the air conditioning is. You get large numbers of people gathering indoors, and you get disease spreading.

  4. @Farnorth,

    Don’t bother to feed the Troll- George just keeps posting the same nonsense every time, despite the multiple corrections. Just ignore him, like any other sensible person would do

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *