As you may know, six countries were added to the EU list of high-risk countries this week: the U.S., Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.
Croatia and Spain have already announced they do not intend to adopt the EU’s recommendation to curb nonessential travel from countries such as Israel and the U.S., both included in this new list of epidemiologically high-risk countries. Now it seems that Ireland has officially joined them.
Ireland’s Ministry of Health has stated the country does not intend to make any changes to the entry guidelines, based on the recent recommendation of the Council of the European Union. “The EU recommendation is non-binding, and the member states retain control over their border restrictions,” stated the Irish government in its announcement.
Those arriving in Ireland with valid vaccine proof are not subject to testing or isolation and must only fill out a PLF form, as is common in many countries.
The Czech Republic has also announced it will not restrict the entry of inoculated Israeli tourists, including their unvaccinated children, but will ban recovering and unvaccinated people, as will Romania, which will accept vaccinated tourists without restrictions.
According to American media outlets, most European countries are still debating whether to adopt the EU’s recommendation and ban American citizens, even though U.S. borders remain closed to most European travelers.
Israel is in a similar situation, as it is also tightly closed to incoming tourists. However, Israeli travelers certainly are not a major source of income for the tourism sector in European countries, unlike American travelers.
Following the new recommendation, Greek authorities have also published updated entry restrictions for certain passengers. Still, at this stage, Greece decided not to exclude the new ‘high-risk’ countries from its list of safe countries.
Moreover, Israel and Greece have signed a mutual tourism agreement, which still allows entry to Israeli tourists, even when Israel is no longer considered a ‘green’ country. Therefore, even if conditions worsen, Israeli tourists will still be able to visit Greece without restrictions, other than a negative test result.
According to the Wall Street Journal, France and Italy have also announced they have no immediate plans to change their rules on travel from the U.S. Therefore, it is most likely that vaccinated Israeli tourists will also be exempt from further restrictions.