People continue to feel hesitant about traveling to most countries in Europe, especially Eastern Europe due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. But are these concerns justified?
Following the invasion, the U.S. embassy in Ukraine advised Americans to leave immediately, and the US Department of State issued a Level 4 travel warning for Russia, citing Russia’s ”unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian forces in Ukraine.”
On the same day, the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) warned airlines against flying over Ukraine, Moldova and parts of Belarus and Russia.
In the days that followed, airspace bans and sanctions in Europe were tightened, and Russia struck back, imposing flight bans on 36 European countries and its allies.
According to a recent survey conducted by travel operator MMGYGlobal, the conflict in Ukraine is now the most significant issue preventing Americans from visiting Europe.
- “62% of U.S. travelers cited concerns about the war in Ukraine spreading to nearby countries as a factor impacting plans to travel to Europe, which is twice the number (31%) who cited COVID-19 health and safety concerns as a factor.
- 47% of travelers want to wait and see how the situation in Ukraine evolves before making plans to visit Europe this year.
- 50% of respondents said they were concerned about possible delays and cancellations of flights, trains and cruises, as well as the potential for border closures.”
After more than a month of invasion, there is no reason to believe that it is dangerous to travel to any country, other than Ukraine, in Europe.
There are, however, a few flight and border disruptions. Poland, for instance, does not allow American or other visitors coming from the Belarusian land border to enter the country. All in all, perfectly reasonable.
Meanwhile, the government of Moldova has partially reopened its aerospace as of March 21, 2022, to allow flights to and from Chisinau International Airport through a corridor to Romania. It was closed since the invasion started.
Apart from this, there have been no other major disruptions recorded across Europe.
Instead, continuing traveling to Europe appears to be a way to support hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who have been welcomed into most EU countries and need jobs in hospitality and other sectors.