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EU considering banning tourists and other "non-essential" travelers from U.S. due to Covid


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Makes sense considering the surge in COVID cases (thanks to the Delta variant).  I would not be surprised to see some of the EU countries reimpose the ban while others such as Greece and Croatia would likely ignore the recommendation.   

 

Hank

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US decisions on inward tourism is not dependent on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). This was a presidential mandate from March, 2019 and it stands. Regarding change, I can only guess that the current administration is preoccupied with domestic matters such as improving vaccination rates in light of the current breakout statistics. In time, and I hope it’s in the next month or so, managing and ensuring that only double vaccinated tourists with WHO recognized vaccine are allowed entry. That the EU and others now allow in Americans did not make any difference to the picture.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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Posted (edited)

I agree with both Hlitner and Markham.  The countrywide surge of the Delta variant is very serious in the United States at this time.  In fact, in Texas, infusion centers are being set up to treat Covid patients so that pressure can be taken off of hospitals.  There is a severe shortage of both hospital beds and medical personnel to treat those who are very ill.  It doesn't seem like a time that  changes to entry into the United States will be made. 

 

Break through cases of the virus among those who are vaccinated are more and more common.  I hear of cases almost every day among friends and acquaintances.  At a medical appointment last Friday, my doctor told me that the Delta variant is everywhere and that one cannot be too careful.  

Edited by SLSD
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Posted (edited)

This thread's title is misleading and alarmist:  this is not a travel ban.  Two salient points of the recommended changes, according to NY Times:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/29/world/europe/eu-us-travel-restrictions.html

 

1.  The change is not mandatory.  Each EU member state can decide whether to follow the guidelines or not.

 

2.  The recommended travel restrictions only apply to unvaccinated US tourists to EU member states which elect to follow the new guidelines.

 

Point #2 above is most welcomed to some of us:  flying across the pond on a plane with only vaccinated passengers (and hopefully crew?) would be a more relaxing experience.  Even better would be to require both full vaccination and recent testing.

 

For most of us, this new recommended change is a non-issue, since those who want to cruise are already fully vaccinated, as required by many cruise lines.

Edited by sfvoyage
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The US lags Europe in vaccinations per capita and in many states the hospitals are under terrible stress on account of the poor regional vaccination records. This is a fact that everyone might as well admit and understand to appreciate the trouble the president faces. As a consequence, Europe might as well follow the lead of Greece in allowing in from the US only double vaccinated tourists. No more reliance on a negative test alone. (And it is only a matter of months before many governments which are giving third doses will request confirmation of those, if the logic holds. Germany starts its program this week).

 

About entry to the US, the country now allows US citizens to enter with a test and an attestation which states the traveler is compliant. So far so good I guess, but I have read that in time and when the US chooses to open up further it will be to visitors who can also prove they are vaccinated with WHO approved vaccines. The mindset suits me. But remember the US domestic politics around this which is paramount: The US has a virulent anti-vaccination minority that is so very harmful to its own travelers' (not to mention domestic health) interests.

 

On the other hand, one glimmer of hope is that the vaccination program in the US is seeing better numbers as more employers mandate them as a condition of working there. Further, the president is talking about boosters- like Israel and Germany - after 8 months or even 5 months after a second booster given scientific evidence. That will result in better outcomes, hopefully, for all over time.

 

So when might the US open us and what might the more outspoken EU countries do? Regarding the US the ball is entirely in the court of the US government and people. 

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, markham said:

And it is only a matter of months before many governments which are giving third doses will request confirmation of those, if the logic holds. Germany starts its program this week.

 

Further, the president is talking about boosters- like Israel and Germany - after 8 months or even 5 months after a second booster given scientific evidence. That will result in better outcomes, hopefully, for all over time.

 

Even though September 20th was announced as the start date for the vaccine booster shots (or third shot), they have already begun in the United States.  When I visited my doctor last Friday, he told me that he did not want me to wait until October to get my booster shot.  He wanted me to get it immediately.  So I did (6.5 months after my first shot).   Many doctors are urging their patients not to wait as they see hospitals and intensive care units which are totally full with patients including the fully vaccinated (but not nearly at the rate of the unvaccinated).  I do imagine that the booster will be a  foreign travel requirement before long as it is a necessary step to fight this virus.  

 

The anti vaccination minority is still very much an issue together with the anti-mask minority.  I just don't see the travel restrictions for entry into the United States changing in the immediate future.  I don't see that what the EU is proposing will put any pressure on the US government.  

Edited by SLSD
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I don‘t see any reason whatsoever why vaccinated people should not be allowed to travel wherever they wish. 
 

However, why Europe should be open for US visitors when the US government doesn‘t allow any European tourists into the US remains a mystery to me. 
 

Don‘t get me wrong. But there needs to be reciprocity. 

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23 minutes ago, mcondition said:

Dear U.S. members 😉 I wouldn't worry at all, in Greece U.S. tourists are considered no1 target group. I think same applies worldwide.


Including Iran, Russia & North Korea 😃👍🏻

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1 hour ago, M&PGermany said:

I don‘t see any reason whatsoever why vaccinated people should not be allowed to travel wherever they wish. 
 

However, why Europe should be open for US visitors when the US government doesn‘t allow any European tourists into the US remains a mystery to me. 
 

Don‘t get me wrong. But there needs to be reciprocity. 

 

But it shouldn't be about reciprocity; it should be about the potential to transmit the disease. And being vaccinated does not translate to non-transmission of the disease. As we now know, people who are fully vaccinated can still get infected, and they can transmit the virus, whether or not they have any symptoms of illness. 

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8 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

 

But it shouldn't be about reciprocity; it should be about the potential to transmit the disease. And being vaccinated does not translate to non-transmission of the disease. As we now know, people who are fully vaccinated can still get infected, and they can transmit the virus, whether or not they have any symptoms of illness. 


Well cruiseej, if they took that as an argument ALL touristic travel would have to be banned as also the tests have a lot of flaws, especially with the delta variant. 

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8 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

 

But it shouldn't be about reciprocity; it should be about the potential to transmit the disease. And being vaccinated does not translate to non-transmission of the disease. As we now know, people who are fully vaccinated can still get infected, and they can transmit the virus, whether or not they have any symptoms of illness. 

I agree with you cruiseej.  We know people who are fully vaccinated who thought they were bullet proof and became infected with the virus.  Some have symptoms and are quite  ill--others remained without symptoms, but had the ability to spread the virus.   We are avoiding fully vaccinated friends who are not being as careful as we are.  It is just not a happy time.  We are hopeful for an opportunity to cruise with SB again next year, but it will depend on the trajectory of the virus for us.

 

I understand Europeans being peeved about not being able to visit the US when we have been able to visit there.  The simple fact is that the US does not depend on tourist dollars as a country like Greece does.  I just don't think pressure on the US government is going to matter.  Of course I could be wrong.  We'll have to wait and see.    

 

 

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2 hours ago, SLSD said:

 

I understand Europeans being peeved about not being able to visit the US when we have been able to visit there.  The simple fact is that the US does not depend on tourist dollars as a country like Greece does.  I just don't think pressure on the US government is going to matter.  Of course I could be wrong.  We'll have to wait and see.    

 

 


I would think that the US travel industry, airlines (who have already protested), hotel companies and especially the Carnival Corp. will have a different opinion on that. 

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SLSD is right about what tourism contributes to the GDP or Greece and the US. By a factor of roughly 6. Look at the numbers. The relative importance of tourism to the US economy is much less, and it’s wise to be patient on this question of reopening the US to Europeans, as discussed above.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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8 hours ago, mcondition said:

Dear U.S. members 😉 I wouldn't worry at all, in Greece U.S. tourists are considered no1 target group. I think same applies worldwide.

What exactly do you mean about U. S. tourists considered a number one target group?

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oh I meant geographically, for example if you ask a restaurant owner which nationality customers he prefers he most possibly will reply U.S.  but it is not only the owner also the waiter but and the hotel owner and taxi driver.

 

Strong dollar or GDP per capita is not the only reason, the hotel owner charges the same price regardless nationality but generally speaking prefers U.S. tourists because they are more polite and quiet, even when drinking. The waiter on the other hand prefers them as they tip more and so on...

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9 hours ago, markham said:

SLSD is right about what tourism contributes to the GDP or Greece and the US. By a factor of roughly 6. Look at the numbers. The relative importance of tourism to the US economy is much less, and it’s wise to be patient on this question of reopening the US to Europeans, as discussed above.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!


I don‘t really understand why you talk about Greece only when the discussion about travel restrictions concerns the entire European Union. 

However I am pretty sure Greece will ignore any new rules just because they are very dependent on the tourism industry. 
 

But it is also pretty clear that the American travel industry would like to see some of those Euros coming from tourists from rich European countries in their pockets. 
To suggest that they could more or less do without any tourists at all in the US sounds funny when you see how many employees in that sector have been let go/furloughed in the past year. 

That being said, Germany has now reinstated mandatory quarantine measures for all unvaccinated travellers from the US. 

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The EU leverage is weakened when its members establish different practices around quarantine, testing and the like involving third country nationals. Of course the members’ primary obligation is to do what they believe is right to protect their citizens. So we see Greece and Germany on very different paths as far as tourism is concerned. Throw in the UK, one of the top two or three destinations for US tourists crossing the Atlantic, and we have a complicated picture.

 

From the point of view of the US, inward foreign tourism is apparently not a priority at this time. The EU cannot play the reciprocity “fairness” card, as it tried to play it last month, and the result was it failed to convince anyone. That was clearly an amateur’s mistake. And I am not expecting the US to carve out better terms for particular European countries in/outside the EU in the spirit of reciprocity.

 

I expect that when the US is ready with better vaccination numbers through successful promotion of what the vast majority recognize as beneficial, and the infection numbers drop, there will be some movement in opening up the tourist sector to Europeans. Nothing will change until there is a change of heart in Washington based on the infection numbers and there is public will to alter the practices in place since March, 2019. The consequence of this inertia, regrettable as it may be, will be to put our 2021 cruises departing Miami on Seabourn, as an example, at risk.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

Edited by markham
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5 hours ago, M&PGermany said:

 

But it is also pretty clear that the American travel industry would like to see some of those Euros coming from tourists from rich European countries in their pockets. 
To suggest that they could more or less do without any tourists at all in the US sounds funny when you see how many employees in that sector have been let go/furloughed in the past year. 

That being said, Germany has now reinstated mandatory quarantine measures for all unvaccinated travelers from the US. 

Another thing to consider is that the United States has more domestic tourists than foreign tourists and Americans can travel domestically in spite of the pandemic (however Hawaii has asked tourists to please not come right now).  Most foreign tourists stick to the East and West coasts, with comparatively few going inland.  This is anecdotal, but when we are in NYC, San Francisco, Florida (I'm thinking of West Palm Beach)  etc, we see many tourists, with foreign travelers being in the minority overall.  So, our tourism industry is alive, but of course hurt by the pandemic as you would expect because many Americans are staying close to home due to the virus.  

 

It will be a real shame if foreign tourists cannot board a Seabourn ship in Miami, but I would be surprised if entry into the United States was suddenly granted at this time as the infection numbers are not going down at the moment.   This is not a happy time.  

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Just a thought in the spirit of imagining better health outcomes:

 

Wouldn’t it be smart for governments, airlines, cruise lines and long haul train operators to limit access to only double vaccinated passengers meeting certain conditions? Then Immigration at countries’ points of entry would know who they were dealing with and, with some testing, have more certainty about protecting their own populations from unwanted newly introduced infection potentialities.

 

We have a long way to go yet in improving vaccination rates even in the West but we can at least contemplate what is needed to get there such as digital health passports. I hope that our governments are working through the issues.

 

Happy and healthy sailing!

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