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American Leisure Travelers Banned From Visiting Sweden

Sweden has banned all U.S. travelers, regardless of vaccination status, from traveling to the country, a report from AFAR stated on Tuesday (Sept. 7).

The European Council preceded the move by Sweden, when it decided last week to remove the U.S. from its safe travel list, given that the rate of new COVID-19 cases became higher than the numbers in Europe.

This ends a period of several months, from June 30 to September 6, when Americans could book a vacation or visit the country, if they could prove that they were vaccinated or had a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours.

Now, the only exception to the rule will be Americans who are residents of Sweden or who are essential workers. Leisure travelers will be turned away.

The Swedish government is hoping to change things sooner rather than later. For example, the government is “examining the possibility of exempting fully vaccinated residents of certain third countries from the entry restrictions.” While the government didn’t say whether the U.S. would be among the countries considered, it said it would be returning to the issue, AFAR reported.

See also: EU Eyes Stopping Nonessential Travel From US

PYMNTS reported on the EU decision last week to potentially block nonessential U.S. travel over the COVID-19 pandemic, citing that the daily rate of new cases at the end of August was 47 per 100,000 people.

The rate in France, by comparison, was 28 per 100,000 people.

The vaccination rate across the U.S. was around 53% by the end of August, while numbers in Europe included France, 58%, Germany, 60%, Italy, 60% and Spain, 69%, according to a Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker cited in the article.

The list of countries that member states are advised to block travel to is updated every fortnight, according to a WSJ report cited in the article.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had expressed concern over the effects of barring nonessential U.S. travel on the Biden administration, especially during the busiest season for European tourism. Also, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the U.S.’s continued prohibition of nonessential European travel made it important to have consistent rules between the countries, the Wall Street Journal said.

Meanwhile, the U.K. leadership dropped restrictions on travel for U.S. residents and Europe residents as of late June.

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