(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.
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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.
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.
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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