Gone long are the days where borders are seamless and open. On top of Britain's exit from the EU, the European Parliament will now require American travelers to register ahead of time before traveling there starting in two years.
The rules go into full effect on January 1, 2021.
Currently, there are no restrictions on any Schengen zone for less than 90 days. Part of the move is to allow the EU to prescreen travelers for further flight risks, and probably as a side bonus, an opportunity to generate some side revenue.
The registration will allow American travelers to enter the Schengen Area as many times as necessary over a period of three years.
The 26 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The process will be likely more of a formality than a hassle, a bit like applying for an Australian visa, where visitors visit a website, enter a few basic questions, and submit a credit card, with a near instantaneous decision.
Straight from the website:
US citizens can apply online for an ETIAS by completing an online ETIAS registration... This process allows European immigration and customs authorities to pre-screen all travelers and confirm their status before permitting them entry or even to board a flight thus improving security measures throughout the Schengen area.