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UPDATE: US to lift travel ban for vaccinated Europeans on November 8th

Fully vaccinated travellers from Europe will finally be able to visit the US from November 8th the White House announced on Friday.

UPDATE: US to lift travel ban for vaccinated Europeans on November 8th
Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP
The United States announced on Friday it will lift Covid travel bans on all passengers from November 8th if they are fully vaccinated and undergo testing and contact tracing.

“The new US policy on travel that will require foreign travellers to the US to be fully vaccinated, will enter into force on November 8th,” the White House said in statement.

The easing of travel restrictions, imposed 18 months ago by Donald Trump as the Covid-19 pandemic first erupted, marks a significant shift by Biden and answers a major demand from European allies at a time of strained diplomatic relations.

Effectively the change means vaccinated travellers from Europe will be able to once again visit the US.

US nationals living in Europe and their close family members had been able to travel home across the Atlantic despite the ban but the strict rules had caused misery for many.

The initial announcement that travel restrictions would be eased was made in September and was greeted warmly in Europe.

German vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted: “Great news – for German and European investments, our exports and transatlantic relations” while the Air France chief described it as “great news”.

European countries have long since opened their borders to vaccinated American tourists, but despite diplomatic pressure in recent months the government in Washington had refused to reciprocate the move until now.

At the end of August the EU removed the US from its travel safe list. Following this move several European countries banned unvaccinated travellers from the US.

Member comments

  1. Sad thing is now it’s paradoxically actually easier for Europeans to travel than Americans. They have the luxury of testing BEFORE they leave home. If positive, stay home. We Americans who miss Italy have to risk testing positive while we’re overseas which is a luxury only the most priveleged can afford. Us plebs can’t risk having to add on 10 more days in a quarantine room to our trips. It’s actually easier for Americans to get into Europe than get home. Even while the US is one of the worst countries in the world for Delta many European countries will let us in just showing the CDC card. If someone can explain how this makes any sense I’d love to hear it. It’s extremely frustrating and also detrimental to the vaccine effort in the US. Either the vaccines work or they don’t but the policy of forcing vaccinated to test before returning home makes it look like they don’t. Stupid stupid stupid stupid.

    1. Agreed. Going to France was easy – I just showed that I was fully vaccinated. I came back to the US from Paris last week – from a country that is over 85% vaccinated to my own country that isn’t even 60% yet, but I had to get a negative test in Paris first. Crazy.

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TRAIN TRAVEL

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn to raise ticket prices by almost five percent

The cost of long-distance train travel in Germany is to go up significantly from December.

Germany's Deutsche Bahn to raise ticket prices by almost five percent

The price of tickets for long distance rail services run by Deutsche Bahn (DB) in Germany are to go up by an average of 4.9 percent this winter, it has emerged. 

The company said the hikes, which will come into force from December 11th, are in response to high inflation.

Some tickets will see an even higher increase. The price of Flex tickets, which aren’t tied to a specific train and can be cancelled, will increase by an average of 6.9 percent.

The cost of BahnCards 25, 50 and 100, which frequent travellers can use for discounted rates, are also going up by around 4.9 percent.

Super Saver and Saver fares – Sparpreise – are, however, staying the same. They start at €17.90 (or €12.90 for people who are 27 or younger), although these tickets are not offered on every train and come with some restrictions.

Seat reservations will also remain at the same level. It costs €4.50 for second-class seat reservations.

The changes will apply to DB’s long-distance trains – Intercity and Intercity Express (IC and ICE).

READ ALSO: German rail operator plans huge modernisation 

The company said the hikes were happening because of inflation. Like many other companies, Deutsche Bahn was “forced to react to the massive inflation by adjusting its prices,” but the firm said this was still well below the current inflation rate of eight percent.

DB added that the German Tariff Association said at the beginning of September that regional services would see a price increase of four percent on average.

The new long-distance timetable – which will apply from December 11th – can be booked in advance from October 12th, according to Deutsche Bahn.

Up to and including December 10th, the new offers can still be booked at the old price.

Despite major problems with the punctuality of its trains, Deutsche Bahn has recently been able to significantly increase its passenger numbers back to the level it reached before the Covid crisis. However, as one of the biggest consumers of electricity in Germany, it has also been hit hard by rising energy costs. The additional costs for the coming year have been put at two billion euros, said the firm. 

It comes as federal and state leaders are widely expected to agree to a new nationwide successor to the €9 euro ticket, which would cover all regional public transport – including DB’s regional trains – around the country.

According to Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP), the government is aiming to introduce the new travel offer by January 1st, 2023. 

READ ALSO: Germany sets out plans for €49 public transport ticket in October

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