Europe Could Ban US Tourists When It Reopens

American tourists may be unwelcome in Europe as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States. With borders set to open next month, draft lists of tourists allowed into the European Union exclude the United States while allowing travelers from countries like China and Vietnam.

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US tourists will be excluded from the EU’s borders. Photo: Getty Images

Excluding US tourists

The New York Times reported that draft lists that European Union officials are working on for allowing international tourists. Thus far, EU officials confirmed to the Times that US tourists are not welcome after the country has struggled to control the coronavirus outbreak.

Alongside the US would be Russia and Brazil, two other countries that have also seen an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. Brazil has become the second country in the world to cross one million reported cases. Meanwhile, the US has surpassed two million cases as numbers continue to surge.

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International travel has already dipped to some of its lowest levels in recent memory. Photo: Getty Images

As for countries that are on the list, citizens from China and Vietnam will be welcomed into the EU. Some cities in China, where the virus originated, has faced a second wave that has led to some concerns about international flights. However, China has seen a continued rebound of flights after the coronavirus outbreak took its toll across the country.

As for Vietnam, the country took early and strict measures to keep the coronavirus outbreak from wreaking havoc across the country. With fewer than 400 overall reported cases and no deaths, the country has done an excellent job controlling the pandemic. In fact, in Vietnam, the domestic market has seen a sharp rebound. Vietnam Airlines, the flag carrier, went beyond a full resumption of domestic flights and even grew its domestic network.

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European airlines will be able to welcome tourists from countries outside of the US. Photo: Getty Images

The US has banned European tourists

Since March, the United States has banned European tourists– including transit passengers. This announcement, which took the world by surprise, was designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the US. Those restrictions remain in place with no set end date yet.

An upsetting turn for US airlines

The transatlantic market is one of the most important for US airlines. In the summer months, strong demand for leisure travel drives airlines to operate seasonal frequencies to cities like Athens, Nice, Venice, Berlin, and more. This year that does not look likely at all.

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Historically, Delta flew seasonally to leisure destinations in Europe over the busy summer months. Photo: Getty Images

Moreover, it threatens business travel between the two major economic forces. This is such an essential segment for carriers that airlines are flying some of their best products transatlantic. This includes United’s incredibly premium Boeing 767 and American’s only long-haul international First Class product.

United Airlines Aircraft
Much of United’s other European flights are on aircraft equipped with the new Polaris business class. Photo: Getty Images

Major airlines have already reported significant losses for the first quarter of 2020. With summer travel looking better, airlines were hoping to resume more international services. While cargo is driving some of that resumption, airlines, no doubt, would also prefer to fly passengers as well.

Another problem for US carriers is that the busy transatlantic season is already just over a month in. The season has only about two months left. By September, transatlantic leisure travel starts to decrease, and airlines enter the difficult fall and winter months.

Do you think Europe will open up to US tourists? Let us know in the comments!