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 »

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  1. This is a terrible things countries are doing the virus us infecting peopol no matter what so why close borders we all have families elwere that we can not visit why is so much control from governments on our lives can we divide for our selfs what we whant to do? Let planes fly let peopol travel don’t let families go apart bc of all this such a evolutionise world afraid of a pandemic we’re is all that technology that’s do talk about we’re is all that courage that good will to man ,all I see is fear of nothing this will pass

  2. Hilarious that the EU is basically building a wall to keep Americans out.

    At this rate Mexico and Canada will pay to build walls at borders to keep Americans out. Can’t say we don’t deserve this because HAIR CUTS and NAIL SALONS? AMIRITE?

  3. Honestly we should just ban all international travel, as well as split up the US by race (Whites = Midwest & Northeast, Blacks = Southeast, Hispanics = Southwest, Asians = West Coast).

    This will do a lot not only for COVID-19 containment but also for politics and civility.

  4. @Jason EXCUSE ME?! I don’t even know how to react to that. Please hang up your white robe on the way out.

  5. To be perfectly fair, I’m quite sure a good number of the protestors were fighting to reopen their businesses and put food on the table- not get hair cuts and pedicures. Denigrating your political opponents like this doesn’t make you look as clever as you think.

  6. Travel bans are per se immoral and should be viewed as such. Taking measures to prevent infected people from traveling is one thing, but banning citizens of entire nations, the vast majority of whom are healthy, is absurd.

    I remember when the USA shamefully and flatly banned all homosexuals from entering the country purportedly to prevent the spread of AIDS and other diseases, which was finally rescinded in 1990. Looks like the world is going back to that sort of illiberal attitude based upon panic instead of reason.

  7. @Mak come on Mak this has got nothing to do with gays.

    @Joelfreak Admit that each race gets along best with itself.

  8. @Jason No, thats NOT true. There are TONS of commonalities between people, that are NOT race. Religion, politics, sports teams, professions, heck, favorite COLORS and FOODS…You made a VERY racist statement, and it needs to be called out.

  9. These are the states that the German Robert Koch Institute lists as high risk areas from which people cannot travel to the EU:

    District of Columbia
    North Carolina
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    South Dakota
    Puerto Rico

  10. @Mak this is a pandemic. When the numbers show that the US is not under control, banning people FROM the US makes sense. At SOME point the chickens have to come back to roost, and this is part of it. We can’t be assholes and irresponsible and have no consequences, no matter HOW much we want it to happen.

  11. @Joelfreak – world history shows that multiethnic nations are not viable for long. Also, your statement is contradictory. You admit by implication that people get along when they have something in common, even something trivial like a favorite color. Yet you deny that people get along best when they are the same race, which in practice means many significant things in common, not just skin color but culture values etc.

    I did not make a racist statement. In no way did I elevate or denigrate any race.

  12. well that’s some new low points on a travel blog. You do know the US has been banning travel from Europe for awhile, and therefore its reasonable for Europe to ban us now. And if you don’t find diversity appealing, why the &^%$ do you travel (and read travel blogs).

  13. @Jason I suggest you look at Singapore, or heck, even countries such as Canada…they seem to get along just fine as multiracial.

  14. @B1BomberVB,

    I think New York barely made the cutoff. The number of infections is dropping in NYC after all.

  15. Nothing like clamping down the shackles ever tighter on people around the world.
    Eventually, they get so used to being controlled – they beg for it.

    You see that now.
    This disease kills .3% of the people it touches (or less, the CDC says .24-.36%)
    We’ve shut down the world for something that 99.7-99.8% of people survive)

    No one says anything about that.
    No one understands that we are basically burning down the entire neighborhood because one house got termites.

    And everyone is just saying ‘please please please, lock me up too, tell me what to do!’

    What a sad event in the history of humanity 🙁

    Our people have rallied together against terrorism, to fight two World Wars, and here… we are covered in fear over something that has killed so few people in 7 months, it’s not even a rounding error in the normal annual deaths…. *sigh*

  16. @George We have that survival rate BECAUSE of the social distancing and closures…not IN SPITE of it. Also, 120000 people are dead in the US from this, JUST this year, and infection rates are going UP. Please tell me when ANYTHING else has some CLOSE to that.

  17. @george … Tell your story to the families who have lost parents, Grand Parents, children, loved ones and many more, I am sure they would beg to differ with your viewpoint. You reckon it has killed so few … yet are you are that more Americans have now dies than in the First World War.

    Your attitude has been mirrored in the state that are now seeing rocketing cases, go figure

  18. Makes sense that we are on the blacklist w/Russia and Brazil – all three led by autocratic fascist dictators who are trying to crush the media and have tried to just wish the Covid away


    “At SOME point the chickens have to come back to roost, and this is part of it. We can’t be assholes and irresponsible and have no consequences, no matter HOW much we want it to happen.”

    Really, now, it seems to me that the People’s Republic of China fits that definition to a “T” and has suffered nary a consequence from their irresponsible actions (of which there are many), why not any other country?

  20. @George, so you are okay with roughly 1 million Americans and 25 million people worldwide dying from Covid? That is 0.3% of the population.

  21. That list of states is largely political, and pretty meaningless. I’m in NJ, and work in New York. According to them, South Dakota is riskier then NYC…. Which by any metric, is insane.

  22. @LK — diversity is appealing when we get to pick and choose, as we do when we travel. Let’s take Black culture as an example. I love the NBA, chicken and waffles, rap and hip hop music. I don’t love antiintellectualism or violent crime.

    @Joelfreak — Singapore is not really multiracial, unless you count East and Southeast/South Asians as multiracial which you could I suppose. But that’s like saying if the US was white-only it would still be multiracial composed of Western and Eastern Europeans. As far as Brazil, they are having a lot of problems, their president is a South American Trump who once Tweeted, “What is a golden shower?”

  23. @Jason,

    I am a conservative but I don’t care where you rest on the political spectrum your comment
    “Let’s take Black culture as an example. I love the NBA, chicken and waffles, rap and hip hop music. I don’t love antiintellectualism or violent crime.” is just plain ignorant bordering on racist.

    To reduce what you deem positive aspects of Black culture to “the NBA, chicken and waffles, and rap and hip hop music” is simply ridiculous.. Then, you compound your stupidity by saying that Black culture comprises ‘violent crime and anti-intellectualism” is even more inane, though I do note that an awful lot of rap music from many cultures negatively objectifies women.

  24. I can’t even reply to @Jason his comments are THAT dumb. And I have been known to reply to some DUMB comments.

  25. @HADLEY V. BAXENDALE So the US should have paid for everyone with the Spanish Flu? At what point do you take some responsibility for the lack of REACTION to whatever happened? I think the pandemic could have been handled better by EVERYONE, and thats why we need a WORLD effort to stop these type of events. The problem is they happen so rarely, people forget they CAN happen, and what happens when they DO happen.

  26. New York has done an excellent job in flattening the curve, along with other Democratic led states on the east coast. So this is indeed now a political issue – dumb government vs smart government.

    Not fake news, not snowflakes, not anything other than smart competent people vs idiots.

    Thanks, idiots, for destroying the country.

  27. @Joe – the idea that New York government comes out of this crisis as some kind of coronavirus success story is absurd. Shut down too late given the facts on the ground, sent covid-positive patients from hospitals into nursing homes. Hospitals became overhwhelmed. “Excellent job flattening the curve” is, largely, that perhaps 30% of NYC has already gotten the virus.

    Other states are now seeing the virus in some pretty bad ways, and risk becoming like New York.

  28. @Gary – I would not argue for a minute that this has been a success story. It has been a disastrous response.

    But the goal was to flatten the curve, reduce hospitalizations, reduce deaths, and reduce spread. Too late, for sure. At great costs, no question.

    Yet 12 weeks on, where would you rather be? NY or FL? How about NJ or AZ? We followed a plan, and the plan looks like it has been effective.

    Stupidity is not learning from other people’s mistakes. We’ve made ours. What the rest of the country’s excuse?

  29. I think people from states that do not have the virus under control should be the ones not allowed to travel. Some parts of the US have actually taken this seriously and got the situation under control in spite of a federal government that has continuously tried to stymie the response.

  30. Earlier today I found an old VFTW post about UA MP devaluations in 2013. The comments were all proposing alternative names for MileagePesos.

    Sad that every comment thread on VFTW is a political mud pit. Engaging is like wrestling with a pig.

    Politics is not a hobby. Now that travel is no longer a leisure activity and all travel discussions are political, I need to get a new hobby 🙁

  31. @jason. And lets house all idiots regardless of race at Mar-A-Lago. Woulf you like a garden view or ocean view?

  32. I don’t get why facts and context don’t matter anymore.
    I get you all are emotional. Sure, but, at SOME point, adults have to take over.

    7600 people die a day in the United States. Each day. Normally.
    Yesterday 273 died of Coronavirus.

    In the world, 160,000 people die each DAY. 60million a year.
    No one could *possibly* be upset with 450,000 people dying in 7 months.

    You just… you can’t have any form of logic left if you are worried about that.

    Cases going up is GOOD.
    This is not a deadly disease. 99.7% of people who get it survive.

    How many times do I have to tell you guys this before you look up some fact for yourself? Not just what the media sells you on?

    Read the CDC, read ANYTHING.
    You’re all worked up and spreading fear for a threat that has killed 3 days worth of people, in 7 whole months.

    34.5Million people have died since November 2019 NOT of Covid.
    Why aren’t you guys all mad at that?
    Why aren’t you all up in arms about that?

    Oh wait, because, science and context don’t matter when you have an agenda I guess.
    It’s crazy

    The earth is ROUND team. The data is in. It’s not up for debate.
    No matter what your old books tell you, science and facts win (it seems to take a while these days though….)

  33. @Joe The government of New York and its Governor Cuomo should be called out for particular ignominy. I don’t think that government could have done anything to eliminate transmission of the disease, but New York took actions which made the disease much worse than it needed to be by putting the most sensitive population at purposely high risk. New York decided that it was politically expedient to force nursing homes to actually accept Covid positive patients — at least in part to eliminate the need for Federal help with these people such as the empty hospital ships they could have utilized — and as a result killed tens of thousands that didn’t need to die. More than half of New York’s Covid deaths were avoidable Nursing Home infections. Cuomo is far from a hero, but to my mind is among the most shameful, self-serving, and cold-blooded politicians anywhere in the world.

  34. Gary, I am wholly in agreement with your response concerning NY state’s response. Mark you nailed it, and I might add, that unfortunately, PA, MI, NJ and I believe MA followed NY’s lead with respect to nursing homes and Covid positive patients. One might also note, that if I am correct about MA, that state is run by a Republican governor, so he too has blood on his hands.

    In addition, NY state under Cuomo commissioned a pandemic study in I believe 2015 wherein it was forecast that the state would need many more ventilators. Cuomo’s response was to punt the football — a favorite of politicians of all stripes — and hope that such a plague would not hit while he was in office.

    As to Sunbelt state increasing infections, fortunately deaths have not increased at the rate seen early in the epidemic and I believe they are still on a downward trajectory.

    However, this may not always be true, so those most at risk must definitely segregate themselves and take utmost precautions until a vaccines is acquired.

    Fortunately, much of the spike in the sunbelt is concentrated among the under 45, whether due to bar re-openings. protests, rallies or whatever and the death rate amongst this group is low.

    Spiking hospital bed occupancy now encompasses unlike during the early phase of the pandemic, Covid sufferers as well as those recuperating from normal operations, something that was forestalled by gubernatorial executive orders early during the pandemic.

    We will have to wait and see how the spikes develop, but it would be wise for anyone not to put themselves in an enclosed space for some time without masking……

  35. @Bill – because 30% of NYers already got the virus, some have cross-immunity from other viruses or natural immunity, there aren’t that many people left to infect in NYC

  36. If I were a member of the European Union, and I saw the stupid things that Americans are doing during this reopening phase, I would want to keep Americans out, too. And I say that as an American who normally travels to Europe twice a year for pleasure and would like to resume those trips.

  37. @Jason. You’re 100% correct. But why not take it further since all humans have differing values. For instance, separate men and women to different coasts since they prefer different movies, take children to Disneyworld and their parents to Vegas, make all oldies migrate to Florida and force all hackers to live in Silicon Valley… Hmm, on the other hand, wouldn’t it be easier to ban obviously brain dead trolls from all Comments Sections instead?

  38. Say what you will about New York flattening the curve, but New Yorkers would still not qualify to enter Europe. They are still at about 33 cases/million/day, so have a long way to go. Contrast to Canada, which should be and was on a similar timeline to the US. Canada is at approximately 9 cases/million/day. Similar demographics, although Canadians are on average older so should be worse off. 9 versus 33 in a state that people are pointing to as handling it well now. 9 versus more than 500/million/day in Arizona.
    Honestly, the world may never let anyone from the US travel anywhere.

  39. And this extra sucks for Americans that live overseas. I can only imagine the hoops I’m going to have to go through to travel. Who knows maybe it’s time to get me a Korean passport after all.

  40. This is where people like Farnorthrader stop using data, or facts, or science:

    500 cases a day would mean 1.5 people die a day.
    In a state of 7.3Million.

    That is .000000205

    Or .00002%

    So, each day, .00002% of the population of Arizona dies from Covid 19.
    Which means: 99.99998% don’t.

    Yes, by all means, that proves your point.
    500 cases a day is just *terrifying*……

    Good grief people. Do they not teach math in school anymore?

    You guys buy into this ‘CASES ARE SURGING’ stuff, without, actually, doing a shred of your own math on what that means. .00002%.

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    This Stanford Doctor argues it’s a very good sign regarding testing going on:

  41. I didn’t see it was 500 out of a million, so 3650 cases a day.
    My math is off by 7x.

    And you know what the changes? Not much.

    110 people die a day, in a state of 7.3Million.
    So, .0001% people. 99.9999% no impact.
    But those .0001%, yup, shut the world down.

    What a ridiculous overreaction, someone said. ‘No one can be THIS stupid, unless it’s on purpose’

    And, I’m not a conspiracy guy, but, could you imagine turning off the world or having 3 months of news coverage for .0001% of people?

    Goooood lord.

  42. @George since death does not matter in your worldview, why don’t you do us all a favor and die yourself?

    For the rest of us, if COVID-19 goes out of control as we’ve seen then society is saddled with huge health care costs and the economy freezes as nobody wants to venture out.

    And for each death there’s a huge number of non-dead with permanent scarring, including this non-dead 20 year old who required a *very expensive* DOUBLE lung transplant.

  43. @Gary – Is there info on whether those rules will apply to connecting through Europe? I may have to travel to Africa, in the near future (assuming the country I’m planning on going to is open, and I feel safe). The schedule that best works for my outbound flights would take me through IST, while the best return would be through AMS. As a U.S. citizen, would I be allowed to do those transits?


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