European Union external borders now open to some countries, but not US

Cheryl Sanders
July 2, 2020

Brazil and Russian Federation were also omitted from the list of approved countries, which includes Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and even China.

The European Union said it will open its borders for visitors from 15 countries for non-essential travel from Wednesday, but not to travellers from the United States, India, Russia and Brazil, Reuters reported.

The Europeans will update the list every two weeks, according to the official press release outlining the details and listing all "safe nations" here. The vote was the result of hard negotiations as the summer season is about to start in the tourism industry.

The Europeans are also taking into account those countries' standards on virus testing, surveillance, contact tracing and treatment and the general reliability of their virus data.

More than 15 million United States citizens travel to Europe each year, while about 10 million Europeans head across the Atlantic.

The EU's efforts to reopen internal borders, particularly within the 26-nation Schengen area which normally has no frontier checks, have been patchy as various countries have restricted access for certain visitors.

For weeks now, the majority of European Union countries have been allowing travel from within the continent.

"Decisions on the possible lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel into the European Union should take into account the epidemiological situation within the European Union, i.e. the average number of COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants", explained the document.

Moreover Algeria, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia also included to the list of countries.

More than three months into the novel coronavirus pandemic, many countries have gotten the spread of the virus under control.

US President Donald Trump suspended the entry of most Europeans in March.

The daily number of new confirmed cases in the United States has surged over the past week.

Which countries are on the list?

The European Union confirmed on Tuesday that the U.S. travel ban will continue into July, as the United States is one of several countries that has failed to contain the spread of the virus.

However, the policy will act as a recommendation to the 27 member countries, meaning they could potentially set restrictions on travellers from the 14 nations.

The report's authors also said that many respondents were "appalled" by the U.S.'s response to tackling the coronavirus crisis at a global level, although the White House has repeatedly denied that it has mishandled the pandemic. That's bad news for Europe's tourist industry and airlines on both sides of the Atlantic.

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