The EU and Schengen area bloc have omitted the U.S. - along with five other countries - from the list of safe travel countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that testing and quarantine requirements for U.S. travelers, especially those who are not vaccinated, could change soon.
The first release on July 1, 2020, included ten countries, but the list has changed several times since then. Most recently, 17 countries as well as Hong Kong and Macau were named. Since the start of the list, China has remaining a possible new entry if it in turn decided to open up to travelers from the EU as well.
With vaccinations against the coronavirus now widespread, it can also be possible for visitors from non-safe list countries to enter the EU, but more stringent restrictions can apply than for safe list countries.
The EU criteria for the green light on travel are that countries have had new case counts of below 75 per 100,000 inhabitants for the last 14 days, that the case count continues to follow a downwards trend and that it does not include too-large a quantity of COVID variants of concern. Also, the countries’ COVID-19 responses have to be rated as solid and the case counting as reliable in the eyes of the EU.
Essential travel, for example by medical personnel, and travel by EU citizens and long-term residents is exempt from the rules, which apply to all 27 EU members, Schengen area countries Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein as well as de-facto Schengen states Andorra, San Marino, Vatican and Monaco.