(CNN) — It was too good to last.

While summer saw much of Europe open up to American visitors, offering them the chance to fulfill lockdown dreams of eating gelato in Italy or touring the art museums of Paris, the season’s end has brought with it new restrictions, and the doors to the continent begin to close.

The news has prompted various European countries to update travel restrictions for Americans, while some have prohibited entry to US travelers completely.

Unsurprisingly, the changes have prompted widespread confusion, particularly for those planning to travel to Europe in the coming months.

Here’s a look at the tightened rules and what they mean for American travelers.

Can Americans still travel to Europe?

More countries may soon restrict access to Americans.

More countries may soon restrict access to Americans.

Clara Margais/Picture Alliance/Getty Images

Yes, they can. Only a small number of countries have so far restricted all nonessential arrivals from the United States. Since the EU advice was issued, Bulgaria, Norway and Sweden are the only ones to restrict all access.

However, while at least one destination — Greece — has ruled out imposing new curbs on travel in the near future, it’s safe to say that Americans, particularly those who are unvaccinated, are likely to face more restrictions in the days and weeks to come.

What are the new EU rules?

Its advice is non-binding, however. There’s no pressure for countries to adopt this measure and they’re free to ignore it if they choose.

That means there’s no blanket rule covering the continent. Instead each destination country is at liberty to adopt or ignore the advice according to their own preferences.

Given how valued US visitors are to Europe’s tourism economies, it’s likely that any decision to restrict their arrival will be taken with considerable reluctance.

What do the EU rules mean for Americans traveling to Europe?

A lot more red tape, uncertainty and research, that’s for sure.

Ultimately it means that traveling to European countries is likely to become harder for Americans in the weeks ahead, although not necessarily impossible.

As the rules change, it’s up to individual travelers to check their eligibility to travel. Although airlines may also do checks before departure, they won’t need to in order to sell tickets.

It’s worth checking CNN Travel’s Unlocking the World guides for up to date info where relevant or the US embassy in the country of destination. And then keep checking as the rules can change with just a couple of days’ notice.

Some countries may keep their doors open, but tweak requirements such as pre-departure Covid tests, quarantine arrangements or proof of vaccination.

Which countries can Americans visit in Europe?

Croatia is still open to Americans.

Croatia is still open to Americans.

DENIS LOVROVIC/AFP via Getty Image

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain are currently all open to fully vaccinated Americans.

The restrictions in place vary from country to country. Many destinations require travelers to

Thu, Sep 9th 2021 09:35 am

42% likely to cancel existing trips without rescheduling 

By the American Hotel & Lodging Association

U.S. leisure travelers plan to significantly pare back travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases, with 69% planning to take fewer trips, 55% planning to postpone existing travel plans, and 42% likely to cancel existing plans without rescheduling, according to a new national survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Nearly three in four (72%) are likely to only travel to places within driving distance.

While leisure travel historically begins to decline after Labor Day, it remains critical throughout the year. The new survey highlights the ongoing negative effects of the pandemic on travel and underscores the need for targeted federal relief, such as the Save Hotel Jobs Act

More than one in five hotel jobs lost during the pandemic – nearly 500,000 in total – will not have returned by the end of this year. For every 10 people directly employed on a hotel property, hotels support an additional 26 jobs in the community, from restaurants and retail to hotel supply companies – meaning an additional nearly 1.3 million hotel-supported jobs are also at risk.

The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted Aug. 11-12, 2021. Of these, 1,707 people, or 78% of respondents, are leisure travelers – that is, those who indicated they may travel for leisure in 2021. Key findings among leisure travelers include the following:

√ 69% are likely to take fewer trips and 65% are likely to take shorter trips

√ 42% are likely to cancel existing travel plans with no plans to reschedule

√ 55% are likely to postpone existing travel plans until a later date

√ 72% are likely to only travel to places they can drive to

√ 70% are likely to travel with smaller groups 

“With COVID-19 cases rising and travel concerns mounting as we enter the fall and winter months, the hotel industry is at a pivotal point. Unless Congress acts, pandemic-related travel reductions will continue to threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of hotel workers,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “For over a year, hotel employees and small business owners across the nation have been asking Congress for direct pandemic relief. This data underscores why it’s time for Congress to act.”

Recently released AHLA survey results show that business travelers are also scaling back their travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases. That includes 67% planning to take fewer trips, 52% likely to cancel existing travel plans without rescheduling, and 60% planning to postpone existing travel plans.

Hotels are the only segment of the hospitality and leisure industry yet to receive direct aid despite being among the hardest hit. That is why AHLA and UNITE HERE, the largest hospitality workers’ union in North America, joined forces to call on Congress to pass the bipartisan Save Hotel Jobs Act introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Charlie

U.S. leisure travelers plan to significantly pare back travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases, with 69% planning to take fewer trips, 55% planning to postpone existing travel plans, and 42% likely to cancel existing plans without rescheduling, according to a new national survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Nearly three in four (72%) are likely to only travel to places within driving distance. 

While leisure travel historically begins to decline after Labor Day, it remains critical throughout the year. The new survey highlights the ongoing negative effects of the pandemic on travel and underscores the need for targeted federal relief, such as the Save Hotel Jobs Act

More than one in five hotel jobs lost during the pandemic—nearly 500,000 in total—will not have returned by the end of this year. For every 10 people directly employed on a hotel property, hotels support an additional 26 jobs in the community, from restaurants and retail to hotel supply companies—meaning an additional nearly 1.3 million hotel-supported jobs are also at risk. 

Scroll down for more…



 
The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted August 11-12, 2021. Of these, 1,707 people, or 78% of respondents, are leisure travelers—that is, those who indicated they may travel for leisure in 2021. Key findings among leisure travelers include the following:

69% are likely to take fewer trips and 65% are likely to take shorter trips
42% are likely to cancel existing travel plans with no plans to reschedule
55% are likely to postpone existing travel plans until a later date
72% are likely to only travel to places they can drive to
70% are likely to travel with smaller groups 

“With COVID-19 cases rising and travel concerns mounting as we enter the fall and winter months, the hotel industry is at a pivotal point. Unless Congress acts, pandemic-related travel reductions will continue to threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of hotel workers,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “For over a year, hotel employees and small business owners across the nation have been asking Congress for direct pandemic relief. This data underscores why it’s time for Congress to act.”

Scroll down for more…



 
Recently released AHLA survey results show that business travelers are also scaling back their travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases. That includes 67% planning to take fewer trips, 52% likely to cancel existing travel plans without rescheduling, and 60% planning to postpone existing travel plans.

Hotels are the only segment of the hospitality and leisure industry yet to receive direct aid despite being among the hardest hit. That is why AHLA and UNITE HERE, the largest hospitality workers’ union in North America, joined forces to call on Congress to pass the bipartisan Save Hotel Jobs Act introduced by Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.). This legislation would provide a lifeline to hotel workers, providing the assistance they need to survive until travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Southwest Airlines, trying to boost fall bookings, is running a characteristically quirky take on buy-one-get-one-free promotions.

Travelers who book a roundtrip ticket or two one-way tickets for travel through Nov. 18 will receive a free companion pass to use in early 2022. The catch: Tickets must be purchased by Thursday, Sept. 9.

Southwest’s companion pass is among the most generous frequent flier perks in the country, but is usually out of reach for most travelers because it requires travelers to take 100 one-way flights in a year or rack up 125,000 qualifying points earned from purchases on Southwest’s credit cards and bookings with its Rapid Reward partners.

►’We’re not out of the woods yet’:Southwest admits struggles will continue as employee gripes grow

►Travel testing:Here’s what travelers should know about at-home COVID-19 tests

The standard companion pass is valid for at least a year but the one Southwest is offering through this promotion will have a much shorter life. Travelers who qualify will be able to bring a companion for free on flights between Jan. 6 and Feb. 28, 2022. Passengers who earn the pass will designate a companion and it may be changed up to three times. The companion’s taxes and fees, which start at $5.60 one way, are extra.

Story continues below.

Three things to know about Southwest’s companion pass promotion:

  1. You must be a member of Southwest’s frequent flyer program, Rapid Rewards, and register for the promotionbefore buying the qualifying ticket(s). Rapid Rewards is free to join.
  2. Tickets must be purchased by Thursday, Sept. 9, for travel through Nov. 18 to be eligible. Travel using frequent flier points is not eligible.
  3. Already have Southwest tickets for travel this fall? They won’t qualify but passengers are free to cancel and rebook, though any fare difference will apply. Southwest doesn’t charge ticket change fees. Travelers who cancel nonrefundable tickets receive travel funds to be used on another flight.

The list of restrictions for people traveling from the United States to Europe is growing as European Union members implement new rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

EU countries including Spain, Denmark, Italy and Norway are tightening restrictions for tourists traveling from the U.S. in the wake of the European Union’s removal of the country from its safe travel list and as COVID cases continue to rise stateside.

The EU’s August move signaled to member states that they should no longer ease restrictions on nonessential travel for people from the U.S. amid the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. The U.S. was added initially to the EU’s safe travel list in June.

►At-home COVID-19 tests:Here’s what travelers should know

►Can Americans visit Europe this fall?:It’s complicated. What travelers need to know.

Spain requiring proof of vaccination

Spain began requiring proof of vaccination from travelers coming from the U.S. starting Monday. U.S. citizens can enter Spain for non-essential tourism by showing proof of vaccine, according to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Spain and Andorra.

“Additionally, U.S. citizens traveling from the United States to Spain must present upon arrival in Spain a QR code generated through the Spain Travel Health portal, obtained through the website or by downloading the ‘SpTH app’ in Google Play Store or iTunes App Store for each traveler, regardless of their age,” the Embassy said on its website.

The rule applies to all coming from the U.S., even if they stopped in a third-party country before entering Spain.

Denmark bans unvaccinated tourists from the U.S.

Denmark is banning unvaccinated tourists from the U.S. The change came after the country moved the U.S. to its “orange” travel advisory category on Saturday. Previously, U.S. tourists could enter Denmark by showing a negative coronavirus test or proof of recovery. 

Some unvaccinated people from the U.S. can still enter Denmark with proof of a negative COVID-19 test but will need to have “a worthy purpose” such as work, school or legal matters, according to a joint website of the Danish authorities. Unvaccinated travelers permitted to enter will be required to quarantine.

Entry requirements do not change for fully vaccinated U.S. travelers, who are still exempt from testing and quarantine requirements. 

Bulgaria moved U.S. to its ‘red zone’

Bulgaria announced earlier this month it would move the U.S. into its “red zone” and prohibit travel from the United States, regardless of vaccination status, as the country faces its fourth surge of COVID-19. 

Italy added testing, isolation requirements

Italy added testing and self-isolation requirements for American travelers at the end of August after the EU removed the U.S. from its safe travel list.

Though the most dramatic policy changes affect unvaccinated travelers – who are still welcome to enter the country, so long as they take the time to self-isolate – vaccinated travelers will have to jump through additional hoops of new testing requirements. Travelers can offer proof of vaccination through a paper card with a CDC logo.

Sweden barring travelers

Fiji, the South Pacific archipelago of more than 300 islands, closed its borders to tourists in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials now say the country is poised to open its borders once again.

Indeed, Fiji plans to re-open November 1, Fiji’s Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, said on the Radio Fiji One Nai Lalakai program, FBC (Fiji) News reports. That’s even earlier than an anticipated reopening on December 1.

Bainimarama says the planned reopening is based on recent developments both locally and abroad, and that the government is confident the goal will be met.

“You must have heard that Qantas has announced its international restart plan for December,” Bainimarama said. “Qantas plans to include Fiji, which has given us the confidence to open our international border by November 1.”

Earlier this week, Qantas Airways, Australia’s largest airline, announced its plans to prepare for international travel in countries with high vaccine rates to resume in December. “We’re preparing for a gradual restart of international flights from mid-December 2021, with plans linked to the vaccination rollout in Australia and key international markets,” the airline said in a statement.

A Tropical Paradise

Fiji, which is roughly two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand, is 1,300 miles north of Auckland, New Zealand. The population is 939,535

The country is famous for its rugged landscapes and palm tree-lined beaches. However, Fiji has also been called the “Soft Coral Capital of the World” by legendary undersea explorer and conservationist Jacques Cousteau.

Due to those coral reefs, Fiji is a spectacular place for snorkeling and SCUBA diving.

Cause For Celebration

Although the details for Fiji’s reopening have not been released, the news is welcome to the country’s population. 

Tourism makes up at least 40 percent of Fiji’s gross domestic product. Since the country closed due to the pandemic, it’s estimated the country has lost approximately $1.3 million,

an ABC Radio Australia article reports. An estimated 100,000 tourism-related jobs have also been lost.

Know Before You Go

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, slightly more than 26 percent of Fiji’s residents are fully vaccinated from COVID-19, and there have been 2,261 new cases reported this week. What’s more, there have been 504 deaths from COVID-19 in Fiji, but half of them occurred in August.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a “Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19” alert for Fiji, bluntly stating “Avoid travel to Fiji.” Based on that guidance, the U.S. State Department also issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” alert, stating “Do not travel to Fiji due to COVID-19-related restrictions.”

Be sure to stay up to date on our coverage of Fiji, Australia and South Pacific, and COVID-19.

Spain is joining the ranks of European nations that are reinstating certain entry requirements for non-essential American travelers in light of the COVID-19 Delta variant surge that’s currently sweeping the U.S.

Starting September 6, Spanish authorities will require American visitors to present proof of complete vaccination, certificate of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the country. Molecular NAAT (such as PCR) tests must have been taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, while antigen tests can be no more than 48 hours old. Certificates of a person’s previous recovery are valid from 12 to 180 days from the date that the first positive test was performed. However, children under the age of 12 are exempt from these requirements.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

All foreign travelers are also required to complete the Spain Travel Health Control form, which produces a QR code they’ll need in order to board their flight, as well as upon arrival in Spain. The form can be obtained through the Spain Travel Health portal, or downloaded as the ‘SpTH’ via Google Play or the App Store.

The policy change was made in view of the European Union’s (E.U.) updated guidance, which signaled to member nations that they should no longer relax entry restrictions for U.S. tourists due to increased infection risk. Spain had formerly removed its vaccination requirement for U.S. visitors at the end of June, and was welcoming all Americans without testing or quarantine requirements.

Many European countries had retained either vaccination or testing requirements since initially reopening their borders in June, so some E.U. member states may not need to alter their policies toward Americans, despite the ongoing rise in infection levels in the U.S.

According to Reuters, the U.S. now tops the list of countries reporting the highest number of daily new cases and deaths each day. The latest seven-day rolling average shows 163,816 new infections in the U.S. each day, or 349 cases per 100,000 residents daily, while Spain’s daily average comes in at only 97 cases per 100,000 people. Spain’s infection rate is at 18 percent of its peak and falling, while the U.S. is at 65 percent of its peak infection period and rising.

The U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Spain and Andorra advises travelers that they’re likely to experience longer wait times at customs and border control as Spain initially works to implement the new rules.

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Puerto Rico and Switzerland are among seven destinations added to a growing list of places that travelers should avoid because of high levels of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.

Switzerland and Puerto Rico were joined on the list by Guam, Estonia, Saint Lucia, Azerbaijan, and North Macedonia. They have been labeled as “Level 4: Very High-Risk” destinations by the CDC.

The health organization also added 10 countries to “Level 3: High Risk,” including Canada, Germany, Bermuda, and Moldova — which moved up from Level 2 — and Bahrain, Indonesia, Oman, Namibia, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe, which moved down from Level 4.

Destinations that fall into the Level 4 category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 4 weeks, making them a very high-risk territory. The CDC says travelers should avoid those destinations and only go if they are fully vaccinated. But even that comes with a warning.

“Even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” the CDC says.

White House press secretary Jen Paski stressed Monday that all travel restrictions apply primarily to the unvaccinated.

“The fastest path to reopening travel is for people to get vaccinated, mask up, and slow the spread of the deadly virus,” Paski said.

The CDC now has 81 destinations listed at Level 4, including popular locations such as France, Spain, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Greece, Thailand, and Iceland. It also includes most of the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Martinique, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Saint Martin.

Meanwhile, the CDC is urging any American who is not vaccinated to stay home over Labor Day weekend.

“Given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take these risks into their own consideration as they think about travel,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said. “If you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling.”

The United States is averaging about 130,000 new cases per day, and hospitals all across the country are being overrun with new patients. ICUs in many states have run out of beds.

Walensky said any gatherings over Labor Day weekend should be held outdoors, if possible, and to mask up when indoors.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen that the vast majority of transmission takes place among unvaccinated people in closed, indoor settings,” Walensky said. “Masks are not forever, but they are for now.”

Vaccinated travelers heading to the Netherlands will need to plan around a quarantine period after the country announced plans to tighten restrictions on the U.S.

The European Union member state is moving the U.S. into its “very high-risk” category on Saturday, which will prohibit entry among unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. and require testing and a quarantine period for those who are vaccinated. 

Starting Saturday, vaccinated U.S. travelers must quarantine 10 days but can cut the isolation period short if they test negative for coronavirus on day five. Children 12 and under are exempt, according to the Government of the Netherlands’ website.

Starting Monday, the country will also require U.S. travelers to show a negative test result to enter, starting Monday.  

The new restrictions do not apply to the Caribbean islands Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, according to the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The changes come on the heels of the European Union’s decision to move the U.S. off its safe travel list, which signaled to member states that they should no longer ease restrictions on nonessential travel for people from the U.S. as COVID-19 cases spike.

As of Friday, the seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. was 153,246 with nearly 53% of the population fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previously, U.S. travelers were able to show proof of recovery or vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter.

The Netherlands is the latest to announce new restrictions against U.S. travelers. EU member state Bulgaria announced it would move the U.S. into its “red zone” and prohibit travel from the U.S., and Italy added testing and self-isolation requirements for U.S. travelers earlier this week.

Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia are also set to move to the Netherlands’ “very high-risk” category.

► A sense of defeat:Travelers struggle to find timely COVID tests, putting trips in jeopardy

► COVID testing for travel:Here’s what travelers should know about at-home COVID-19 tests

Last-minute shakeups for travelers

Cole Turner Franco of Austin, Texas, had wanted to make a quick stop in the Netherlands during his move to Oxford, England, next week but had to throw his plans out the window to avoid the new quarantine mandate.

He had intended to fly with his Pomeranian, Yuki, to Amsterdam and then ferry to the U.K. – which doesn’t allow pets in the cabin on international flights – and have his husband join them at a later date. As a fully vaccinated U.S. citizen, Turner Franco thought he would have an easy time getting into the Netherlands.

Then the new travel restrictions were announced. 

To avoid the quarantine period, Turner Franco added another leg to the journey in France immediately after landing in the Netherlands, which does allow travelers from “high-risk” areas to have a layover in the country so long as they do not leave the airport. From there, he’ll

(CNN) — The European Union recommended on Monday that Americans should be banned from nonessential travel to its member states after a rise in Covid-19 cases in the United States.

Countries within the 27-nation bloc, which includes France, Italy and Germany, have been advised to reinstate coronavirus-related restrictions and halt the arrival of tourists from the US and five other countries.

The guidance, which also now applies to Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and the Republic of North Macedonia, is non-binding for EU member states. That means it remains up to each individual EU country to decide whether to allow “nonessential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travelers.”

Europe had begun opening up to US travelers in May with destinations dependent on tourism dollars from across the Atlantic eager to recoup heavy losses incurred during successive lockdowns.

The European Council, the EU’s governing body, recommended in June that the bloc lift restrictions on nonessential travel from 14 countries, including the United States.

However, Covid-19 cases in the US have surged in recent weeks, as the highly infectious Delta variant spreads among unvaccinated Americans. Covid-19 cases among children are also hitting levels not seen since winter.

“What is going on now is both entirely predictable, but entirely preventable. And you know we know we have the wherewithal with vaccines to turn this around,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious diseases expert. “We could turn this around and we could do it efficiently and quickly if we just get those people vaccinated.”

Nationally, 52.1% of the population was fully vaccinated as of Saturday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Florida on Saturday had the highest Covid-19 hospitalization rate in the country, with 75 patients per 100,000 residents in hospitals with the virus, according to data from federal health officials and Johns Hopkins University. It also reached yet another pandemic high of Covid-19 cases Friday, reporting 690.5 new cases per 100,000 people each day from August 20 to August 26, state data showed.

Fewer than 50% of people in South Carolina, Louisiana and Texas are fully vaccinated. Studies have shown that full vaccination is necessary for optimal protection against the Delta variant.

Several hospitals in those four states — Florida, South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana — are struggling with oxygen scarcity. Some are at risk of having to use their reserve supply or risk running out of oxygen imminently, according to state health officials and hospital consultants.

CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne and Barry Neild contributed to this story.