E.U. Lifts Travel Restrictions for American Visitors
After over a year of barred entry, the European Union has recommended its member countries to start lifting their travel restrictions on visitors from the United States.
Countries such as Spain and France have already started opening their borders prior to this announcement, but it opens the doors – no pun intended – for Americans to enter all 27 countries of the European Union.
According to the Associated Press, national governments will still have the authority to require test results or vaccination records and to set other entry conditions, as the recommendation from the E.U. is non-binding.
Each country will have different entry dates when they’ll start allowing non-essential U.S. travelers in. For instance, Switzerland will open up to vaccinated U.S. citizens effective on June 28th, pending formal Swiss parliamentary ratification on June 23rd, while Germany will start to allow Americans back in a week sooner than that on June 20th. As per an announcement made by German National Tourist Board, a proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from COVID-19, or negative test result is still required for entry via air travel for all air travelers six years and older who are entering the Federal Republic of Germany.
Airlines are preparing for the return of U.S. travelers to Europe this summer. For example, by July, Lufthansa Group plans to offer around 190 weekly flights from the states to its European hubs. “The United States is Lufthansa Group’s most important market outside of our European home markets. Now, with the new German guidelines in place, we are ready to meet the pent-up travel demand of Americans wanting to travel to Germany to experience a memorable European holiday or desperate to visit their family and friends that they weren’t able to see in person for the past 15 months,” said Frank Naeve, Vice President of Passenger Sales, The Americas, Lufthansa Group in a press release.
“Furthermore, the Group’s extensive, global network gives us the advantage of offering the entire world to our customers, along with seamless transfers and premium quality. Now, for example, if you want to fly from one of our many American gateways to dream destinations such as Berlin, Palma de Mallorca or Mykonos, the easiest way with the best connectivity offerings is with the Lufthansa Group,” he added.
Austrian Airlines is offering more than 100 destinations this summer – of which approximately 30 focus on leisure travel in the Mediterranean region. SWISS is expanding its summer services from both Zurich and Geneva to popular tourist destinations. From Zurich, Berlin will receive up to six daily flights, while Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Hamburg, Vienna, Copenhagen and Athens will each have up to three daily services. And Brussels Airlines has resumed their flights from New York and Washington DC. These resumed fights marks the first time since March 2020 that Brussels Airlines reconnects the U.S. capital and the European capital of Brussels.
As the start of summer kicks off this weekend, I certainly can’t wait to book a trip back to Europe again. It’s been over two years that I’ve been across the Atlantic, after taking a break in 2019 from overseas travel and telling myself I’d go back in 2020 – and then the pandemic hit! It’s going to be a hard choice of where to start, but a certainly a fun choice to make. Where are you headed this summer?