Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Croatia Stay Open, Without New Restrictions, To U.S. Tourists
If vaccinated, Americans can travel to most of the EU countries. If not, there are still others like Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Croatia, Portugal that have refused to impose stricter rules on U.S. visitors, as recommended by the EU Council.
Due to the surge in the number of Covid-19 infections in the United States, particularly the Delta variant and the new Mu variant detected in 49 states, authorities in a number of European countries have decided to implement additional restrictive measures for non-vaccinated arrivals.
The decision followed the Council of the European Union’s recommendation to remove the U.S. from the list of countries considered epidemiologically safe.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take the lives of thousands daily, the European Union keeps adjusting protective measures in a bid to halt further spread including limiting or entirely banning incoming travellers, especially those arriving from countries with high stakes of infection.
Countries with the highest vaccination rates have decided not to follow the EU Council recommendation as it is not legally binding.
Ireland is not adding restrictions
“EU recommendation is non-binding, and the Member States retain control over their own border restrictions,” a statement from the Irish government said.
“For travelers arriving into Ireland from the United States who present valid proof of vaccination, no travel-related testing or quarantine is necessary,” informs the U.S. Embassy in Ireland. “If you have valid proof of recovery from coronavirus in the past 180 days, no travel-related testing or quarantine will be necessary.
“If you do not have valid proof of vaccination or recovery, you will need to present evidence of a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival into the country and self-quarantine for 14 days. If you receive a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken from day five onwards after arrival into Ireland, you will be able to leave quarantine.”
While Irish government isn’t offering tests for the purposes of international travel, commercial testing facilities are available.
You can find additional information on commercially available Covid-19 testing locations in Ireland here.
Greece stays open to Americans
“Travelers from the United States can continue to visit Greece until the end of the tourist season without being subject to Covid-19 related restrictions, despite the U.S. recently suffering a surge in the number of infections caused by the virus,” SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“Greece will continue to receive visitors from the U.S. until the end of the tourist season,” Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikiliassaid said in a statement.
According to the Greek City Times, American tourists’ per capita expenditure surpasses €1,000 per trip, which puts them at the top of the list of international travelers who spend the most in Greece.
Greek authorities have posted answers to many “Frequently Asked Questions” about travel to and in Greece at travel.gov.gr and greecehealthfirst.gr.
The Greek National Tourism Organization also has launched a “Visit Greece” app, which includes detailed Covid-19 travel updates, as well as a map of Covid-19 diagnostic testing locations.
The Visit Greece App is available for download via Google Play or the App Store.
“Since the (EU council) recommendation is not legally binding, the Minister of Justice has not confirmed changes on behalf of Iceland,” a statement by Iceland’s Ministry of Justice notes.
American visitors must show proof of vaccination. Those who have recovered from Covid-19 must show a certificate of previous Covid infection.Visitors also need a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen) taken within 72 hours before departure.
Unvaccinated travelers must show a negative PCR taken within 72 hours of departure.
Rapid antigen tests and self-tests are not accepted for unvaccinated travelers. Another Covid-19 test should be taken upon arrival at the airport, followed by five days of quarantine and then a second test.
Children age 16 or younger are exempt from requirements.
Further details from the U.S Embassy in Iceland can be found here.
Portugal permits U.S. travelers
Portugal permits U.S. tourists to enter its territory, “including for tourism, provided that they present a negative result of the coronavirus test taken 48 hours before departures,” SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Over 83% of the population in Portugal are fully vaccinated, while 95% of the adult population have had at least one dose, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Following the protection offered by vaccination, the Portuguese authorities require travellers to only take a PCR test 72 hours or an antigen test taken 48 hours before entering the country for both essential and non-essential reasons.
The U.S is included in the list of countries allowed to enter Portugal by providing the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate of vaccination and recovery or negative test taken prior departure.
Portugal hosted one million visitors from the United States in 2019, before the spread of the virus.
Requirements for Croatia
Tourists visiting Croatia must present one of the following documents:
A negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to departure or a rapid antigen test result (list of acceptable antigen tests) not older than 48 hours.
A certificate of vaccination no older than 270 days for persons whose final dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is more than 14 days prior to arrival or proof of recovery from Covid-19.
Visitors also must perform PCR testing or rapid antigen testing immediately upon arrival to Croatia (at the traveler’s expense), with the obligation to stay in self-isolation until receiving a negative test result. If testing cannot be performed, travelers must self-isolate for a period of 10 days, the American Embassy in Croatia reports.
Travelers can facilitate faster processing at the Croatian border by completing the Enter Croatia web form and uploading their information and attachments before their arrival. For detailed information about these requirements, visit the Croatian Government’s Ministry of Interior Webpage)
Countries banning U.S. visitors, regardless of vaccination status
Regardless of their vaccination status, US travelers are banned from entering Bulgaria altogether, with exceptions for specific, exceptional cases.
Encouraged by the EU advice, Denmark has prohibited entry to arrivals from the U.S. as of September 6, except for those claiming entry for essential purposes.
The Swedish government also announced stringent entry requirements for Americans. Travelers wishing to enter the Scandinavian country for essential purposes would not be affected by the changes.
The same is the case for U.S. travelers wishing to go to Norway.
Unvaccinated Americans wanting to enter the Netherlands must present a recent negative result of the coronavirus test and follow a 10-day self-isolation upon arrival.