The European Union (EU) will not allow Americans to travel into the E.U. when the bloc reopens to international travel because of a high number of COVID-19 cases, according to a report from Friday in the New York Times.
The EU, according to the report, will set the parameters for incoming travelers by COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days. The U.S., under those parameters, will not be allowed into the 27-member EU when travel starts opening up on July 1.
Canadian citizens, according to the report, will be allowed in.
The news, which was confirmed by a number of news outlets, still has yet to be announced by the EU, though, according to the Times, an announcement is expected this week.
In a statement on Friday, both ASTA and U.S. Travel reacted to the news.
ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby called the news “short-sighted and economically irresponsible.”
"A growing number of Americans have visited Europe over the past twenty years. Many European capitals including Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, and Madrid are perennial top ten destinations for American travelers. While there may be genuine concerns from local officials regarding the spread of COVID-19, banning all Americans from travel to Europe is a short sighted decision that could have unintended long term consequences,” he said in a statement.
“Our travel advisors report extraordinary pent up demand for travel. The European travel market is vital to the business of travel advisors. With the No Sail Order still in place, this proposed travel ban threatens to push our members' businesses off a cliff. Punishing American travelers is short-sighted and economically irresponsible."
U.S. Travel Association EVP for public affairs and policy Tori Emerson Barnes called the news “disappointing.”
“The E.U.'s announcement is incredibly disappointing, and a step in the wrong direction as we seek to rebuild our global economy.
"In the U.S. alone, travel-related jobs account for more than a third of lost employment due to the fallout of the pandemic. Health is paramount, and the public has a major role to play by embracing best practices such as wearing masks, but we are at a stage when it should be possible to make progress.”
The news means that travel suppliers who source guests from the U.S. and are allowed to operate in July, risk doing so without the guest supply required to operate profitably. It also means that European countries who rely on Americans to support their tourism industries, particularly during the heavy travel months of July and August, will have to wait even longer to welcome Americans.
Seven million Americans traveled to Eureope between June and August last year according to U.S. government data.