The European Union on Monday formally recommended that its members stop nonessential travel from the US because of the surge in COVID-19 infections.
The 27-nation bloc in May had suggested its member states lift restrictions on such trips, allowing American tourists to visit during the key summer season.
But the EU decided that the US would again be removed from its “safe list” of countries whose residents can travel for nonessential reasons by showing proof of vaccination or a negative test.
The advice announced Monday is for visitors to now have to prove that their travel is essential and also face restrictions such as quarantines and testing requirements.
Still, it is merely a suggestion to member states, not mandatory, and national governments have the authority to decide whether to keep their borders open to American tourists.
Some EU countries, such as Germany and Belgium, had already categorized the US as red, which means tests and quarantines are required of Americans headed there.
Meanwhile, the US has yet to reopen its own borders to EU tourists, despite calls from the bloc for the Biden administration to lift its ban.
The EU also removed Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia from the safe travel list Monday.
“This list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated,” the European Council said in a statement.
The threshold for being on the EU’s “safe list” is having not more than 75 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days.
The US has long been well over that threshold, and last week, new cases per day averaged over 150,000, making it more than 300 per 100,000 people, Reuters data shows.
The US has been the hardest-hit nation in the world in terms of the coronavirus, with nearly 39 million recorded infections and 637,539 deaths.
With Post wires