In January, President Biden reinstated the travel ban on non-American citizens who traveled in Brazil, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Europe. However, the same can be said for Americans looking to travel to EU countries.
Despite vaccine rollouts worldwide, the EU is still not yet opening its borders to tourists. With travel restrictions in place, countries lost billions of dollars since the pandemic started. France lost $58 billion while Germany and Italy lost $45.7 billion and $44.5 billion respectively. The lack of tourists in France is equivalent to an 82% drop in international spending.
According to the estimates of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the pandemic is taking its toll on 13 million workers in the tourism sector. And if things continue to get worse, it could trigger a domino effect on other sectors.
Both Americans and Mexicans love to travel to Europe. In 2018, 15 million US tourists entered Europe. According to the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), the EU needs to find a way to bring non-essential US travelers back into the region. If not, there is a chance that the EU is going to lose billions of dollars again in 2021.
When is the EU Lifting US Travel Ban?
The biggest question raised by Americans is when can they travel again to Europe? To be removed from the list of at-risk countries, it is important to meet certain conditions.
- Fewer than 25 new COVID19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks.
- A downtrend of new infections in the last two weeks
- More than 300 tests conducted per 100,000 inhabitants in the last week
- Less than 4% positive result in the last week
Chairman of the Canadian Tour Operators Association Brett Walker mentioned that the next 90 days will determine whether or not North American tourists are going to return to Europe. Walker also suggested a transparent and coordinated approach to get the tourists back. If not, “Europe will see the same decline of North American spending, between 90-95% for 2021”.