Countries like Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom are in the process of opening up. The virus devastated Europe, forcing citizens across the continent into their homes and so scared they sanitized their shoes.
As of the writing of this article, these European countries have opened up only to each other--primarily for economic reasons like trade and pumping some life into the tourist industry. Despite the downward descent of cases across the continent, most governments still fear that allowing non-essential travel overseas would bring about the second wave of Covid-19.
As a general forecast, American travelers should expect to wait until at least July before these countries open up their borders. The State Department remains steadfast in its insistence Americans avoid international travel--but all countries involved realize families span borders and oceans.
In this article below we’ve laid out the possible timeline, but please remember that the situation around the ground is fluid, thereby making these dates more general than a concrete occasion.
The United Kingdom
Beginning June 8, the United Kingdom’s government issued a requirement for a 14-day quarantine mandatory to all American travelers. The people of the U.K. continue to suffer from the virus and its ramifications--Covid-19 has claimed the lives of almost 43,000 citizens.
As of now, the U.K. will reexamine the current restrictions at the beginning of July. Currently, before you leave you’ll be asked to provide an address for where you’ll self isolate. Throughout your self-quarantine, the government will perform a check to make sure you’re abiding by their guidelines. You can be fined over $1,000 for violations.
The. tourist and retail sectors of the economy have struggled in the wake of the virus. However, the U.K. continues its lockdown, meaning many shops like department stores are still closed to customers.
July 4 is when pubs, bars, and restaurants can open their doors for now. But--given the uncertainty with COVID-19--these dates are liable to change depending on the response to the pandemic.
Italy has only opened up borders to its European neighbors. Meanwhile, the US State Department still forbids travel to certain regions, and non-essential travelers will have to wait until July at the earliest.
Unless you provide a veritable reason for urgency, work, health, or to return to your home, the Italian government isn’t planning on letting you in before July.
If you qualify for the exemption, you’re expected to 14-day supervised isolation (I’m aware of the irony) as well as possessing certified reasons of absolute urgency, work, or health for which you need to be in Italy.
For those inside Italy, bureaucratic tape looms at every region’s border in the country. For some, you need to take a coronavirus test if you have a high enough temperature--and you’re not allowed in until you test negative.
As a major source of infections (nearly 200,000), Germany weathered the storm somewhat with nearly 175,000 recoveries. They’ve also fared well economically, keeping their unemployment numbers around 4% (compared to the United States’ estimated 14%).
However, Germany still forbids non-essential travel to US citizens, opening up only to neighboring European countries.
France’s Emmanuel Macron announced that the country still remained closed to American tourists. Those eager to walk the same Louvre frequented by Hemingway must continue their wait until at least July, the general consensus among European countries right now.
The U.S. Embassy advises that travelers monitor updates in Spain’s regional governments when normal travel resumes. France’s initial State of Alarm--in response to a crisis that precipitates the government nationalizing the country’s hospitals--has been extended by the government until today.
However, American citizens shouldn’t expect to hear any news until at least the beginning of July.