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When can I travel to Europe again?

Times are tough for travellers. But with the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we're here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next adventure – whether that's a staycation or flying off to parts unknown. Until then, we've got the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates to keep you up to date and ready to go.

Wanderlusting Americans are asking, “When can I travel to Europe again?” We’ll break down the current border restrictions and let you know where U.S. citizens can travel to in Europe. You can also use our interactive global map to keep track of travel restrictions around the world.

Keep in mind that countries update their entry requirements regularly and travel advisories from the State Department change frequently nowadays, too. Check official government and embassy websites for the latest information before you make a booking.

Here is the information we’ll cover:

view of older town in Europe

Europe, EU, Eurozone…where can I travel?

Great question! Let’s start off by defining a few important terms. Europe as a continent is not the same as the European Union (EU). The EU was set up to politically and economically unite neighboring countries to help ensure peace in the region. It currently has 27 member countries. Nineteen of the EU countries use the Euro (€) as their official currency. Collectively, these 19 countries are called the Eurozone.

There’s also the border-free zone, called the Schengen area, where internal borders have been abolished. Typically, U.S. citizens are issued 90 days visa-free to travel within the Schengen area. This is what allows you to take a bus from Portugal to Spain or a train from France to Slovenia without needing to pull out your passport along the way. 

Eager to know the latest travel updates? Read our travel news briefing, updated weekly!

Yellow tram on rails coming out from a tunnel

Who is allowed to travel to the EU?

The Council of the European Union has recommendations indicating which third-country nationals (i.e. non-EU citizens) should be allowed entry for non-essential travel (i.e. tourism), among other things. The list is reviewed and updated regularly based on predefined objective criteria, “including the health situation, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, and reciprocity considerations, taking into account data from relevant sources such as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organisation,” according to the European Commission

As of the last update of the list (released on June 16, 2021), Member States are encouraged to gradually lift travel restrictions at external borders for the residents of the following countries (i.e. so that they may enter for non-essential travel):

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Lebanon
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • United States of America
  • China, including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

Are there exemptions?

Yes. For non-EU citizens from a country not listed above, there are exemptions from the restrictions for what has been deemed essential travel. This includes students, healthcare professionals, passengers in transit, some family members (“passengers travelling for imperative family reasons”), among others. Each country within Europe defines its own specific criteria for what qualifies as essential travel. 

Read More: How to plan travel in 2021

Someone closing the airplane window

When will Americans be able to travel to Europe again?

After more than a year of closures, EU officials recommended to Member States in mid-June that they reopen external borders to U.S. citizens, regardless of vaccination status. However, this is a recommendation, which means it’s strongly encouraged given the open-border policy between member countries. Consequently, there are two things to keep mind about this recommendation. One, member states do not need to re-open for tourism if they are not ready, so they can still restrict Americans from visiting despite the recommendation. Two, while a country may decide to re-open its borders, it make and enforce its own specific requirements for entry, such as proof of being fully vaccinated.

The overall good news is that Americans can travel to many countries in Europe, and the list continues to grow every week!

When can Americans fly to Europe?

While there may be fewer flights available than pre-pandemic times, airlines are still flying direct to Europe from the USA. Some airlines have actually launched new routes to certain countries as they reopen their borders earlier than others. For example, Delta has launched a direct flight between Boston and Iceland, and there are new direct flights on United from the US to Croatia, Greece and Iceland. There are also special “COVID-tested flights” that Italy is requiring inbound visitors to arrive on.

Keep in mind that although Americans can fly into Europe, entry requirements and restrictions vary by country. As we will discuss below, there are select countries where Americans can travel and fly into for tourism purposes without quarantine requirements.

Where can U.S. citizens travel to in Europe?

The EU maintains this handy map, which contains many details on member countries. You’re able to find out coronavirus measures of the country, tourism entry conditions and any restrictions on entering the country by plane, train, car, etc. You can also find out whether you need to quarantine upon arrival or are required to present a negative COVID test result. 

When you click on the tool’s map icon and then the Earth icon, you’ll see the answer to this question: What are the rules to enter this country from outside an EU Member State or Schengen Associated country?

Don’t forget that everyone, including U.S. citizens, are still required to submit a negative test prior to boarding their flight back to the US. While most states lifted mandates and requirements for returning residents, they general advise travelers to follow CDC guidelines. Check the latest from your state to ensure you’re in compliance when returning home.

Read more: Everything you need to know about PCR tests

two people who traveled to Europe jumping off cliff

Plan your next adventure: Tips for booking flights, hotels and car rentals with confidence

Croatia

Croatia is part of the EU but not the Schengen area. Americans can travel to Croatia and stay visa-free for up to 90 days. This beautiful country along the Adriatic has opened its borders for U.S. citizens who want to travel for tourism purposes!

Those departing from the United States may be allowed in Croatia if they meet certain requirements. The latest guidance states that visitors must have documented evidence of having paid for accommodations in full prior to arriving in Croatia. If you are traveling to multiple destinations, you only need to provide proof of paid accommodations in the first location. Tourists also must provide proof of a negative PCR test take within the last 48 hours, or a certificate of vaccination, or a medical certificate of having recovered from COVID-19, or there is the option to test and self-isolate upon arrival. The U.S. Embassy in Croatia provides additional details. You can speed up your entry into the country by filling out this form prior to departure.

Cyprus

Looking for a postcard-perfect getaway on the Mediterranean? The gorgeous island of Cyprus is welcoming visitors again!

Although the United States is on Cyprus’ Orange List, citizens are still allowed to enter the country for tourism under special conditions. First, all travelers must obtain a Cyprus Flight Pass. Those who are unvaccinated must provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding a flight to Cyprus. Finally, unvaccinated travelers must complete another test upon arrival at their own expense (30-32 euros). Doing this allows unvaccinated individuals to bypass mandatory self-quarantine. Those who are vaccinated can upload proof of their vaccination status to the Cyprus Flight Pass portal to bypass the testing requirements.

England

England (Brexited from the EU) is allowing U.S. citizens to enter; however, there are restrictions that travelers must be aware of.

The USA is currently on England’s amber list of countries. This means that England is requiring those coming from the US to quarantine for 10 days, take two COVID-19 PCR tests during that time and follow national restrictions. You will also have to fill out a Passenger Locator Form. England also maintains a travel ban from particular countries (if you were in one of these countries in the last 10 days you will be refused entry into the country unless you have residence rights in England).

France

We’re excited to add France onto the list of European countries that Americans will be able to travel to again! Entry for tourism is allowed again, but the rules are different for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors. Those who are not vaccinated cannot travel for tourism purposes and must show proof of a permitted reason for entry into the country.

Travelers who are vaccinated will need to present the following items: 1. proof of full vaccination, occurring at least 2 weeks ago with Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca, or at least 4 weeks ago with Johnson & Johnson; and 2. proof of negative COVID-19 test results taken in the last 72 hours or a negative COVID antigen test performed within the 48 hours prior to departure. All travelers must also fill out this certificate of international travel.

Greece

Get excited: Greece is open for American tourists! There are some guidelines and requirements you must be aware of and/or complete prior to entry. Be sure to check these boxes:

  • Fill out a Passenger Locator Form at least 48 hours before arrival
  • All visitors ages 5+ must have proof of a negative PCR test taken no later than 72 hours before arrival
  • Fully vaccinated travelers who have had their last dose 14+ days ago do not need to test negative if they can show proof of vaccination status. Accepted vaccines are on the government site.
  • Random health checks are in place, regardless of vaccination status. If selected, the health check is mandatory.

Iceland

Fully vaccinated Americans can now travel to Iceland! And, the CDC has lowered the country to risk assessment Level 1, which means it has the lowest risk level for COVID transmission. You will be required to complete a preregistration form prior to departing to Iceland. If you are fully vaccinated, you will not need to quarantine. If you have not been fully vaccinated, it is required to submit a negative COVID test result taken within 72 hours of departure for Iceland, as well as take two COVID-19 tests after arrival, with a quarantine between test. The first test will be conducted upon arrival, and the second will be 5-6 days later. Read all details on traveling to Iceland from the U.S. Embassy and the Icelandic government before you book your trip.

Those traveling from a high-risk area (website only available in Icelandic) are subject to stricter measures.

Americans who want to travel to Europe can now visit Iceland again

Ready to book travel? Use Skyscanner’s new features for easy and flexible booking

Ireland

Ireland is a member of the EU, but it’s not in the Schengen area. Americans can travel there for tourism visa-free for up to 90 days.

Beginning July 19, Ireland will reopen its borders to U.S. citizens, lifting the need to quarantine if you can show proof of full vaccination. Adults who are not fully vaccinated can still enter the country, but they will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result as well as self-quarantine before taking a second test post-arrival. Children ages 7-18 will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.

Italy

Although travel to Italy has some obstacles, they aren’t insurmountable if you’re itching for a trip! Travelers (regardless of vaccination status) must show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of travel, complete a self-declaration form and undergo a 10-day-quarantine, among other requirements. But, Americans can bypass the quarantine by taking special “COVID-tested flights” that require taking a test both before and after the flight, and submitting a digital passenger locator form. COVID-tested flights are currently available from New York and Atlanta to Milan and Rome, with service to Venice resuming July 2.

Malta

Do you want to soak up the sun on the shores of this stunning Mediterranean archipelago? Good news: It’s possible! The CDC lowered Malta to risk assessment Level 1, which means it has the lowest risk level for COVID transmission. Americans from some states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico are allowed to visit without restrictions if they can provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure from their state of residence.

Those who do not reside in the states that have been cleared for unrestricted travel are not allowed to travel to Malta directly from their state of residence for tourism purposes. What they can do is enter Malta via a safety corridor country (such as Croatia, Greece or Turkey), which they would need to have been in for at least 14 days prior and with no COVID-19 symptoms or contact with someone who has tested positive. Those individuals would also need to fill out a Public Health Declaration form and present negative PCR test results taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Portugal

The re-opening of Portugal comes with good news and not-so-good news. First, the good news! Mainland Portugal began welcoming tourists from the United States once again. The “but” is that the country is reviewing this decision every two weeks, with the current guidelines expiring at midnight on June 27. If you plan to visit Portugal in 2021, we highly recommend you book flexible travel options. To enter, all you need is proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or a rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours of departure. Children 24 months and younger do not need to test.

Slovenia

Want to venture around one of the most sustainable destinations? You’re in luck because Slovenia has begun reopening businesses and accommodations and allowing some U.S. tourists back in. We say “some” because the country is only welcoming non-essential travelers who have been fully vaccinated or can show evidence of recently recovering from a COVID-19 infection. See the “Entry and Exit Requirements” section.

Spain

Vaccinated individuals can officially add Spain back to their travel list! Adult tourists and their minor children who are vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter the country. You must present the following upon arrival for each traveler:

  • A QR code generated through Spain Travel Health. This can be done via the website or through the SpTH app, available in Google Play and the App Store.
  • A vaccination certificate showing that full vaccination against COVID-19 was completed more than 14 days before the flight to Spain (with an approved vaccine).

Requirements for minors varies by age. Read more in the “Entry and Exit Requirements: SPAIN” section. The same section describes the criteria that unvaccinated travelers must meet to enter the country.

Other European countries

Outside of the EU, some European countries are allowing entry from the US. These include: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. There may be testing or quarantine requirements in place, so be sure to carefully read the government’s guidelines in addition to reviewing the epidemiological situation before booking any travel.

an island in the middle of a lake in Europe

Read more: 5 tips for safe flights and comfortable travel during the pandemic

If I’m already in Europe, can I travel to other countries in the EU?

Some countries only take into account where you claim residency, while others refer to the country you have been in 10-14 days prior to entry or crossing the border. If you travel to one of the European countries that are welcoming U.S. citizens, you may be able to fly or drive into other countries in the EU. Be prepared, though, to potentially self-quarantine or provide a negative COVID test result or proof of vaccination. It’s important to check if your desired destination (and any transit locations) has guidelines about this.

Another thing to consider is that if you are an American citizen who holds residency elsewhere that is on Europe’s green list, there is a chance you’ll be able to enter. You’ll have to provide the necessary documentation and proof of your country of residence. Either way, always confirm the border restrictions of the specific country before booking travel.

For a helpful picture of what countries are open to Americans, you can find the latest information on quarantine, entry requirements and restrictions on our interactive global map.

What should I do if I decide to travel to one of the countries where Americans are welcome?

First, we recommend checking what the exact entry requirements are for Americans traveling to their desired European destination. Go to the government’s website and check with the embassy to see if you need specific documents. This may include proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or prior infection, a negative test result (and within a specific time frame of departure), proof of accommodations and requirements to quarantine upon arrival. 

Next, educate yourself on change and cancellation policies before you book your flight from the U.S. and your accommodations in Europe. If you want peace of mind, you can book flexible flight tickets. This way if you need to reverse course at the last minute, you won’t need to scramble to learn what your options are.

Finally, repeat the first recommendation leading up to your trip. If a mandatory quarantine goes into effect two days before you travel to Europe, you won’t be exempt just because you booked a flight months in advance.

Travelers also need to be aware of any requirements needed to return to the United States. As of January 26, 2021, all travelers from Europe and the rest of the world will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 3 days before boarding their flight to the USA. The CDC published new guidance on April 2, 2021, for international travelers who are fully vaccinated.

Read more: An essential guide to quarantine hotels

a bottle of hand sanitizer and a mask

Travel is tricky these days, and it can be hard to know when it’s safe to travel to Europe from the USA and beyond. You need to do additional research and jump through a few more hoops than “the good old days of travel.” But that doesn’t mean that a head-clearing vacation isn’t worth the effort.

Just remember as you travel through Europe that you still need to take the same CDC-recommended safety precautions that you would in the United States. Wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, don’t touch your face, and stay six or more feet away from others whenever possible. If you have more questions, we’ve answered your top COVID-19 questions.

Discover where you can go

Making plans to get back out there? Find out which borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.

COVID-19 travel info graphic for Skyscanner's interactive global map.

Frequently asked questions

Does the government require me to stay home after I travel abroad?

While there are no mandates, the CDC recommends that unvaccinated travelers get tested 3-5 days after travel and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel (even if the test comes back negative). If you don’t get tested, quarantine for 10 days. However, some state and local governments require a 7, 10 or 14-day quarantine for those returning from out of state. Check the CDC and your local government’s guidelines for details.

How long should travelers quarantine for after returning to the USA?

Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine but should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. For unvaccinated travelers, the CDC recommends getting a viral test 3-5 days after travel along with a full 7-day quarantine (even with a negative test result). Without testing, it is recommended to self-quarantine for 10 days.

Should I avoid traveling internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The CDC recommends delaying non-essential travel until you are fully vaccinated. However, there are no mandates in place restricting U.S. citizens from traveling domestically and to some foreign countries. If you choose to travel, follow CDC travel guidelines to help reduce your risk of exposure.

Do I need a negative COVID-19 test to return to the U.S.?

Yes. A policy, which started on January 26, 2021, requires all air passengers to provide a negative COVID-19 test (taken within the last 3 days) before they can board their flight to the United States.

This page was last updated on June 21, 2021. To our knowledge, the information on this page was correct at the time of publication. However, given the nature of the COVID-19 crisis, information will vary by location and change at short notice and over time. We will do our best to keep this page up-to-date, however this cannot be guaranteed.