Travel News Travel Tips Why the EU Travel Ban (Mostly) Doesn't Matter if You're Vaccinated Dreaming of cobblestones and castles? Don't panic just yet By Jamie Ditaranto Jamie Ditaranto Jamie Ditaranto is a freelance journalist, photographer, and full-time traveler. Before writing for TripSavvy, Jamie was the Editor of Video and Content for SmarterTravel.com, where she sought to share unique travel experiences like barge cruising in France and sleeping in centuries-old Japanese inns. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 09/08/21 Fact checked by Jillian Dara Fact checked by Jillian Dara Instagram Emerson College Jillian Dara is a freelance journalist and fact-checker. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, USA Today, Michelin Guides, Hemispheres, DuJour, and Forbes. TripSavvy's fact-checking Share Pin Email Marek Kijevský / EyeEm / Getty Images The European Union’s late-summer decision to reinstate the travel ban on Americans spurred shocking headlines in the travel world, leaving many Americans to feel they had missed the boat on what turned out to be a very short window of opportunity. But if you read the fine print, you’ll find that the jury is still out on what overall effect this decision will actually have on vaccinated Americans dreaming of cobblestones and castles. The new rule to bar Americans' entry into the European Union is in line with the current E.U. protocol that marks any country with more than 75 cases per 100,000 people as very high-risk. In June, the U.S. fell below these criteria, which allowed many Americans to enjoy summer trips to Europe, but surpassed the threshold in August due to a spike in new cases. Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and the Republic of North Macedonia were also reclassified as high-risk at the same time. While the new ruling only applies to unvaccinated travelers, some countries have still chosen to use the recommendation to bar vaccinated travelers from the U.S. Meanwhile, others have declared they won’t be changing their entry requirements at all, so even though some countries may be unfeasible for the time being, other destinations are promising to keep their doors open. Three countries so far have announced that they would place even harsher restrictions on both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans. Before the rule, the Netherlands allowed Americans to enter by showing proof of vaccination or a negative test, but as of Sept. 4, 2021, only vaccinated Americans will be allowed to enter, and even they must comply with a mandatory 10-day quarantine. Bulgaria and Sweden have taken the recommendation further and banned all non-essential travel from high-risk countries like the U.S. Although this news may be disappointing for those planning trips to Amsterdam, Sofia, or Stockholm, travelers will find their options are still quite open—especially if they’re vaccinated. Countries like Spain, which hadn’t required a negative test or proof of vaccination from Americans, will now ask travelers for proof of vaccination per the E.U.'s ruling. Neighboring Portugal has confirmed it will stay open to Americans and will continue processing tourists with their current entry restrictions, which requires travelers to show either a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours, or a vaccination certificate. Meanwhile, Croatia has also chosen to ignore the E.U.’s decision and will continue to accept a negative test or proof of vaccination, as long as it isn’t older than 270 days. Both countries depend largely on tourism, and Croatia has bucked the E.U.'s recommendation before—in the summer of 2020, it was one of the only countries welcoming American travelers. In many places, like France, Iceland, and Italy, the new ruling changes nothing. These countries had already been requiring proof of vaccination for Americans to enter. In this case, the new ruling does nothing unless governments take it upon themselves to enforce new quarantine rules or shut borders completely to high-risk countries. We will likely see more countries in the next few weeks declare whether or not they will keep their current requirements or start to close borders again, especially now that the summer travel season is coming to a close. If you’ve already booked a trip to a country that has not announced whether or not it will be changing entry requirements for vaccinated travelers, as well as the unvaccinated, you will need to stay on top of changing requirements, but don't panic just yet. If you don’t have anything booked but are still hoping to visit Europe in the upcoming months, Portugal and Croatia are two stunningly beautiful destinations that are promising American travelers a sure thing—or at least as close as we can get for now. Article Sources TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy. Council of the European Union. "COVID-19: travel into the EU." Spain Travel Health. "Health requirements to enter Spain and prevention measures against COVID-19." Your Europe. "Croatia - Covid travel rules, EU Digital Covid Certificate, restrictions and measures in place." Aug. 31, 2021 Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Travel to Asia: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country Travel to Central and South America: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country Travel to the Caribbean: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country Travel to Africa and the Middle East: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country Travel to Europe: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country When Will My State Reopen? Dates for Every U.S. State These Countries Are Allowing Vaccinated Travelers to Visit Everything International Travelers Need to Know About Planning a Trip to the US The US Will Lift Its Travel Ban for Vaccinated Foreign Travelers This November Everyone's Going to Europe This Summer—But Here's How You Can Beat the Crowds Croatia Bucks the E.U.'s Decision to Ban American Travelers The U.S. Will Soon Require Negative COVID Tests for Entry These Countries Are Inviting US Citizens to Live and Work Remotely Here’s What It’s Like to Travel to Puerto Rico Right Now Should You Travel to Europe Right Now? Will I Need a COVID-19 Vaccine to Travel? Airlines Say "Maybe"