It looks like 2021 will not be another lost summer of travel for U.S. citizens. In addition to widespread domestic re-openings, Iceland and Greece are now open and France has indicated vaccinated Americans will be welcomed this summer.
Summer In Europe: Greece Now Open To Americans, France Hints At Re-Opening
Starting today, Greece has re-opened to American citizens (the USA joins a fairly exclusive list of nations that are allowed to visit Greece, though a wider re-opening is planned for May). Your CDC vaccination card or negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) is enough to get you in, though you may be subject to random testing upon arrival and must arrive in one of the following airports:
- Athens (ATH)
- Chania (CHQ)
- Corfu (CFU)
- Heraklion (HER)
- Kos (KGS)
- Mykonos (JMK)
- Rhodes (RHO)
- Santorini (JTR)
- Thessaloniki (SKG)
You must also fill out this Passenger Locator Form prior to arrival.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron appeared on CBS’s Face The Nation yesterday and expressed hope of a path to travel for vaccinated Americans this summer:
“We will progressively lift the restrictions of the beginning of May, which means that we will organize in the summer time with our professionals in France for French European citizens, but as well for American citizens. So we are working hard to propose a very concrete solution, especially for US citizens who are vaccinated, so with a special pass, I would say.”
ICYMI: French Pres. Emmanuel Macron says France will “progressively lift” travel restrictions at the beginning of May, including for American citizens who are vaccinated.
Macron told @margbrennan initial plans have been discussed with the White House. https://t.co/772HIrDiG5 pic.twitter.com/fQGQjRnB46
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) April 18, 2021
Note that it is not necessarily Macron’s decision to make.
Still, a summer in France is now within reach. If the United States re-opens border to citizens of the European Union in May, as is now rumored, it may be that we see the entire Schengen Area re-open to vaccinated Americans.
Iceland has also re-opened to vaccinated Americans and children born after 2005 are exempt when traveling with their parents.
I’ll be traveling to Europe this summer, lockdown or not, to spend time with my wife’s side of the family. While lockdowns continue across France and Germany (and even Greece right now), there is hope that with warmer weather and more vaccinations new case numbers will drop as they have in the United States.
It always behooves us to exercise caution when traveling and we should continue to take all reasonable precautions, but I am elated that the world is starting to re-open again. It has been a long time and I cannot wait to freely travel once again.
Matthew, I too am thinking about European travel this summer with the family. Similar to you we have two young children. Do you have any sense about whether they’ll need to be vaccinated (as clearly they can’t at this point…) and/or will be required to have a negative PCR test? My hope is that children are granted leniency WRT vaccination/testing.
I hope so, but too early to tell.
As for Greece, the fine print says a PCR test is “required for children over 5,” so I assume those under 5 do not require a test. France may be the same but too soon to tell
What is going to be proof of vaccination? Those easily replicated hand-written CDC cards? It took me a few seconds to find the form template on the net.
I suppose that is always a risk with any vaccine.
My wife and I are heading back to Germany with our son for about a month to be with our families. Probably won’t be traveling outside of Germany but will make it a point to visit regions we are less familiar with. I just hope some of our favorite Biergartens will be open — nothing like having a beer under the chestnut trees overlooking Ammersee in the summer. We are just trying to get our almost two year old ready to wear a mask on the flight to ORD before catching our LH flight to MUC. LH has no problem with a barely two year old not wearing a mask but UA will apparently boot my family off if he tries to remove it at all based on all these stories I’m reading. I’m very nervous about that 2.5 hrs flight.
Actually that’s not correct about children visiting Iceland. Children born after 2005 need to get PCR test on arrivial, don’t need a test to board plane, and don’t have to quarantine if their parents are not required to quarantine (e.g. are vaccinated). Which would make sense, because 16 and up are approved for the vaccines. Here in wacknut California, kids 14 and order have to show neg test just to get into baseball games. Why not make it 16?
From Icelandair website: “Children born 2005 or later are required to undergo a test at the border, but they do not have to present a PCR test result to board the plane. They are only required to quarantine if they are traveling with parents or guardians who are also required to quarantine.”
This is so GREAT to hear! Early on, Iceland made no exceptions for children. I’ve updated story.
The simple hand-written CDC cards are so charming they are almost comical. Besides the fact of the extreme ease of falsification, they at least give a sense that the vaccines are just a business, instead of having a deeper conspirative motive.
Americans should try not to be jerks, given many Europeans are still waiting to be vaccinated as a consequence of U.S. vaccine hoarding.
We should never be jerks, regardless of the circumstances. But the blame for European vaccination woes cannot just be pinned on U.S. hoarding.
I found great space today IAD-ATH for $670 and with PN space open for immediate upgrades. Booked those in August. Just checked again and no more upgrade space. Fare is now $1,470. Glad I acted when I did! Thanks for posting on the new UA routes before.
Congrats on the quick booking!
Good luck with that, LoL
I mean, if you’re happy to go to a Paris that has almost no tourist attractions, no bars, no restaurants, etc. open, then be my guest.
I don’t think this opening is catered to a massive influx of tourists.
I have to presume tourists will not be welcomed unless case numbers go down and bars, restaurants, and museums re-open…
Having been on the road through it all the past year I can say there is now a palpable energy in the air wherever I go. We may never again see the ease of movement like we saw the past decade. But we seem to be gradually finding the next chapter, which is certainly better than the hell we have all gone through. I’m looking forward to working again in Europe and not having to go there with essential documents, letters, tests, quarantines, and still wondering what awaits. That moment, when I get wind of a work deal coming up there and can book a last minute flight in LH F, will be the happiest day.
And for those anti-vaxxers out there, I hope this is a wake up call.
I am totally with @DMNYC
Part of the allure of going to Paris or anywhere in Europe per se is going to restaurants, bars, museums that are unique to those cities.
Walking and enjoying the Latin Quarter or the endless and classic bistros of St.Germaine is a must do for those who have been to all the “tourist attractions”.
I can’t picture going to Paris unless of course you have family or close friends and sitting around.
Having a cup of hot chocolate at Angelina or the macaroons at Pierre Hermès or a glass of wine at any sidewalk cafe; is Paris at its finest and I could certainly wait til they are open once again …
That may be true, but even if a few people cheat and don’t get caught, with random testing and the majority of us being honest, the number of actual people showing up sick would still be negligible. That would be my guess. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have the guts to fake a federal card with a foreign government. I know some do, but if you got caught… NO. THANK. YOU.
Don’t bring your kids unless they’ve also been vaxxed. Word right now is that they will not be welcome, unless they are European citizens of course.
Good thing I married a German…
The State Department’s revision of its travel advisories, which now assign 80% of countries (including most of the countries in Europe) to Level 4- Do Not Travel may put a crimp in these plans. Most travel insurance providers won’t issue policies that cover countries under a Level 4 travel advisory.
Will be addressing this shortly.
We are going to London in late May and then over the Channel to Paris in early June. So this is good news to me. Thanks!