By Barry Neild and Sakya Vandoorne, CNN
France has become the latest European country — and the most significant tourism destination — to remove the United States from its safe travel list, following EU recommendations in the wake of a US Covid spike.
A French government decree issued on Thursday bumped the United States and Israel from the country’s “green” list, down to “orange,” effectively prohibiting nonessential travel to France for unvaccinated visitors.
Under France’s rules, unvaccinated travelers from either country will still be allowed in provided they have an essential reason for travel, however they’ll need a negative Covid-19 test before travel and must quarantine for seven days on arrival.
France’s move follow restrictions imposed on US travelers from several other European destinations. Earlier this week, Spain changed its entry policy for arrivals from the US, requiring them to have a certificate proving double vaccination.
Denmark and the Netherlands have also recently updated their restrictions, requiring proof of vaccination for US travelers. Sweden, meanwhile, has banned all US arrivals regardless of vaccination status.
Italy last week began requiring all visitors, including those from the United States, to show proof of a PCR or antigen Covid test taken within 72 hours of travel, regardless of whether they are vaccinated.
The new measures follow a nonbinding recommendation from the European Union to its member states earlier this month to begin restricting US arrivals following rising Covid-19 numbers across the United States during July and August.
Many European travel destinations reopened their borders to Americans earlier in the summer in the hope of attracting much needed tourism dollars to boost Covid-battered economies.
With Covid’s Delta variant spreading throughout the US, some countries, including Germany, had already begun restricting access to Americans prior to the EU recommendation. Others, such as Greece, insist they will remain open regardless of traveler vaccination status.
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