U.S. travelers will need to register to visit Europe beginning in 2021

U.S. citizens traveling to some European countries will need to register to do so starting in 2021.

>> Read more trending news

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 19: European Union officials have clarified travel regulations after erroneous reports that Americans will soon be required to apply for visas.

Confusion over the regulations occurred after some outlets, including Cox Media Group, reported that U.S. travelers would soon need a visa to reach Europe. The reports erroneously cited the travel agency ETIASVisa.com, NPR reported.

Molly Montgomery, a former State Department official who specializes in European matters, told NPR the authorization procedure is similar to a screening system that exists in the U.S., the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

Original report: The European Union announced Friday that American tourists will be required to complete an application and pay a small fee through the European Travel Information and Authorization System -- known as ETIAS -- to visit the 26 European countries that allow border-free travel, The Hill reported.

Those countries include France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Poland, CNN reported. Under current rules, U.S. citizens can travel to Europe and stay there for up to 90 days without a visa.

Minors will still just need their normal passports to travel. The ETIAS will be valid for three years, according to the European Union.

U.S. travelers will not require a prior permit to visit the United Kingdom, The Hill reported.

About the Author