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The European Union on Friday dropped blanket restrictions on the United States and four other countries. The easing of restrictions does not immediately allow access. Rather, it gives EU member countries the latitude to develop their own policies on a nation-by-nation basis.

The U.S., Albania, Lebanon, Serbia, and the Republic of Macedonia join a list of 12 other countries, territories, or regions that the EU says “member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders.”

The list of allowed countries has been revisited on an ongoing basis — roughly every two weeks — since June of 2020. According to the EU, “The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation.”

Some EU countries, including Portugal, had already eased restrictions on U.S. travelers. Intra-European movement for travelers who have been fully vaccinated was agreed on last week.

Countries With Preferred Access to EU

Countries or Territories
New Zealand
Republic of North Macedonia
South Korea
United States of America
Hong Kong

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Photo Credit: Tourists at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. EU countries can ease restrictions for travelers from 17 countries and territories. Skift