The European Council updated the list of countries for which it recommends travel restrictions be lifted, removing the U.S. and four other countries from the list.

Key Points:

  • On Aug. 30, the European Council advised its 27 member states to re-implement travel restrictions on nonessential travel from the U.S., Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia.
  • Officials removed the U.S. from the “safe list” because it has consistently recorded more than 75 new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the previous 14 days, the council said.
  • The Council recommended the continued lifting of restrictions for many countries, including Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Korea. The full list is available here.

Additional Information: Member states have the right to impose or lift entry restrictions and are not legally bound to apply the EU Council’s recommendations.

BAL Analysis: The change will likely result in new restrictions for many U.S.-based travelers. While member states often implement the council’s recommendations, exact policies will vary from country to country.

U.S. employers and employees should continue to consult their BAL professional before planning any international travel. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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