EU removes US travelers from COVID-19 'safe list'

Americans may again face travel restrictions in Europe, though individual countries can still decide whether to follow the EU decision.

Alexandra Garrett Associate Editor
Alexandra is an associate editor on CNET's Performance Optimization team. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and interned with CNET's Tech and News teams while in school. Prior to joining CNET full time, Alexandra was a breaking news fellow at Newsweek, where she covered current events and politics.
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The EU is reintroducing COVID-19 restrictions. 

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The European Union on Monday removed the US from its "safe list" of countries whose residents don't need to be tested or quarantined for "nonessential travel." Israel, Lebanon, Montenegro, Kosovo and North Macedonia were also removed from the safe list. The change was earlier reported by The New York Times.

Three EU officials had proposed the restriction amid surges in the United States' COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, according to The Times. 

The EU noted that its 27 members states can still choose to how to handle tourists, including lifting the "temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travelers."

The Council of the European Union made the decision based on an "evaluation of the health situation," a European Commission spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement Monday. 

The majority of European countries had previously removed COVID-19 travel restrictions and reopened their borders for nonessential travel to the US in June. 

The US has seen nearly 3.8 million cases and more than 24,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the past four weeks, according to data from John Hopkins University. The spike in infections are largely due to the delta variant. The highly contagious strain continues to spread across the US, especially in areas with low vaccination rates.  

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