The list of who's allowed to travel to Europe has fluctuated wildly over the past year, with countries like Canada, Japan and Morocco gaining access only to lose it again a few short weeks later. But one thing has remained the same: Americans are still very much banned from the European Union. (Though, in all fairness, the United States currently has a ban on visitors from Europe's Schengen area, the UK, and Ireland, too).
First things first: who’s allowed in? If you're a resident or citizen of Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, or Thailand, then you are free to enter Europe, assuming you follow any additional rules laid out by the country you're visiting. For instance, all EU member states require travelers entering Europe to provide proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure. Visitors may also be required to quarantine, participate in contact tracing efforts, and submit to additional Covid-19 testing for a period of up to 14 days after arrival depending on their destination. Everyone else, from every other country in the world, is banned.
If you're headed to the UK, you might not be banned (if your travel is essential), but you will face numerous restrictions (including a significantly reduced number of flights). All travellers entering the UK, including British citizens, must present a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of arrival and then quarantine for ten days. You'll also have to take tests on day two and day eight of quarantine, but even if the results are negative, you must remain in quarantine for the full ten days. The UK also has its own 'red list' of banned countries which includes much of South America, southern Africa and the United Arab Emirates. The United States is not on the list.
There is some hope for Americans looking forward to a European vacation. With the vaccine rollout well underway, a handful of European countries, including Iceland and Slovenia, are currently allowing in vaccinated travellers, with other countries such as Greece hoping to do so too this summer. In addition, the EU’s vaccine passport program may allow those who have had the shot to travel more freely within Europe this summer. Just another reason to get vaccinated as soon as you can.
Remember, many countries (including the USA) are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about traveling.