Where Can Americans Travel in Europe? And can Americans travel in Europe after quarantining for 14 days in Ireland or the UK? TravelSort reader Max writes “I've read that it's possible to travel to the EU after quarantining in the UK or Ireland for the required 14 days. Is that true?”
Great question. Let's first look at the UK and Ireland quarantine and then other European countries' entry restrictions.
UK and Ireland: 14-Day Quarantine for Travelers from the U.S.
It's possible for travelers to visit the UK and Ireland, but there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place when traveling from the U.S., both for U.S. citizens and returning UK residents who have spent time in the U.S. Travelers are exempt from the UK quarantine if they have only spent time in one of the exempt countries for the 14 days prior to entering the UK.
Note that travelers must complete the UK's passenger locator form in the 48 hours prior to arriving in the UK and there is a GBP 100 fine if you don't provide these details, and there can be fines of GBP 1000 for non-compliance.
Travelers to Ireland from the U.S. also must complete a passenger locator form, which can be downloaded from Ireland's Traveling to Ireland from a Location That is Not on the COVID-19 Green List.
Ireland's quarantine is phrased as “Restricted Movement,” but still indicates that you should NOT take public transit or go to shops, including grocery stores, unless absolutely necessary, and you MUST wear a face covering if you do.
Which Other European Countries are Open to Americans?
Most of Europe remains closed to Americans, even those who have quarantined for 14 days in the UK or Ireland, but there are a few exceptions:
- Albania: note, however, that as per the U.S. Embassy in Albania, U.S. citizens are only able to transit one Schengen country on their journey home from Albania to the U.S. Be sure to check with your airline that you'll be able to board.
- Croatia: As of July 10, 2020, U.S. citizens visiting Croatia must have a negative PCR test from a test taken within the 48 hours prior to arriving in Croatia in order to avoid the 14-day quarantine. Those who have a test older than 48 hours will have to be tested locally at their own expense, and will have to self-quarantine until receiving a negative result from the locally taken PCR test. Those who arrive without a current or expired PCR test will have to quarantine for 14 days. Also note that Croatia requires proof that you have booked accommodation.
- North Macedonia: At time of writing U.S. citizens may visit North Macedonia with no restrictions. Check the U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia Covid-19 page for updates.
- Serbia: Per the U.S. Embassy in Serbia, currently there are no restrictions for U.S. citizens visiting Serbia.
- Turkey: While Turkey isn't exactly part of Europe, it borders the Mediterranean and at time of writing is open to U.S. citizens. Continue to check the U.S. Embassy in Turkey COVID-19 page for updates.
Keep in mind that some EU countries, such as Austria, Italy, Denmark and others, do have exemptions not only for transit passengers and diplomats, but also for business travelers and sometimes sport professionals and artists. For Austria, a business/sport pro/artist exemption requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from within the 72 hours prior to entering Austria. Italy permits essential travel for students, businesspeople, and relatives of Italian citizens.
There can also be exemptions for unmarried couples. Denmark was the first EU country to offer this exception, for those from banned countries, including the U.S., to reunite with a lover, fiance, or child who is a Danish citizen or to allow entry into Denmark together with the person's Danish spouse, partner or child.
Also keep in mind that U.S.citizens who are permanent residents of an EU member state, UK, Switzerland, etc. are generally treated the same as citizens. So a U.S. citizen who is a permanent resident of the UK or Ireland could self-quarantine in the UK or Ireland for 14 days after returning from a trip to the U.S., then visit EU countries, whereas, apart from the countries above or certain exceptions such as for business or essential travel, a U.S. citizen who isn't a permanent resident of the UK or Ireland wouldn't be able to do the same.
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