The ban on entering the 30 European and Schengen countries as of July 1st applies to most arrivals from the United State but not all.
The travel ban concerns all 27 EU members except Ireland, and four Schengen members: Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. These countries are not legally bound to follow the regulations but are likely to enforce the ongoing restrictions on arrivals from America
1. Travel Ban Essentials
The EU recommends members the restrictions “on non-essential travel into the EU” for US and other high-risk countries. This restriction means that holiday trips to Europe for will not be possible.
It is important to note that the ban is based on residency and not citizenship. An EU citizen or resident, or resident in one of the safe countries, can enter again after coming back from the US. China is currently being considered to be added to the list, if the rule is reciprocated for EU travelers.
It remains unclear how each country will implement these guidelines. The U.S. travel advisory informs American citizens living overseas to “avoid all international travel”. Another point to keep in mind is travel insurance, which could become problematic if people do not follow the advisory and go ahead with travel plans nonetheless.
The list continues to be reviewed, which means more countries may be added included in the days to come.
The EU recommends member states to offer waivers to some groups of people. Students and highly qualified workers have been added to the list of third country nationals who would be able to enter the EU from banned countries, including the US.
American citizens residing in one of the safe countries such as South Korea, Japan or New Zealand should be welcome in the EU, together with immediate family members.
NOTE: One may not travel from the United States to a country on the list to get around the travel restrictions. An American tourist or long-term traveler in those countries will not be allowed to enter the EU.
3. Americans Living in the EU
The EU recommends member states to exclude from the ban the third country nationals who are residents in Europe, including their family members. In that case, the main limitation for travel within the Schengen zone will be those countries who are yet to fully open internal borders, including other Europeans. This also means that US citizens residing in Europe would be able to take a plane, or arrive by car, in one of the “open border” countries, but each member state may have different rules. An example is Denmark, where one must show proof of six nights accommodation. It will be crucial for American citizens to be able to proof that their residency is in an open-border country in Europe and not the US to avoid difficulties.
In Spain, travelers must fill out a “passenger location card” at the airport and are subject to temperature checks. In Malta, the rule of thumb will be where the passenger has been during the past 14 days, rather than the nationality or residency.
The EU Commission has launched The Reopen Europe website, which offers up-to-date information on how to navigate the different country rules.