European Union considers barring Americans from travel list

European Union considers barring Americans from travel list
Internal borders of European countries began reopening to travellers on 15 June. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: European Union ambassadors are discussing the plan of reopening external borders on 1 July, but travelers from the US could be among those not allowed in.

Some European countries wary of the continued spread of the virus but some are keen to open up to tourists.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday he expected a solution “in the coming weeks”.

The virus is spreading in the US, so it is likely Americans would be barred from the travel list.

The EU must first agree the measures that non-EU countries should meet before deciding on a safe list.

According to reports from EU headquarter, Russia, Brazil and other countries with high infection rates would also be left off a safe list.

The report says the European Union is not yet thought to have agreed on how they will assess which countries meet health standards – one of the criteria for entry. Part of the problem is assessing reliable health data.

What did Pompeo say?

During this coronavirus pandemic time, travel has largely been banned between the EU and the US, but Mr Pompeo said he was “very confident” a solution could be found.

The US Secretary of State said: “We certainly don’t want to reopen in a way that jeopardises the United States from people traveling here and we certainly don’t want to cause problems anyplace else.”

He did not give details, but added that the United States was working “to get the global travel back in place”.

Comparing infection rates with other countries

The latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – EU’s health agency- highlight Brazil, Chile, Panama, Peru and Saudi Arabia as countries with the highest “case notification rate”.

France is keen on barring nationals from countries that bar EU citizens. Source: AFP

The US and Russia have a lower rate of cases per 100,000 inhabitants but are still higher than most of Europe.

The US has seen 120,000 deaths and 2.3 million infections and cases are climbing in several states.

Ambassadors are advised by the European Commission only to consider countries that are comparable or better than the EU average when it comes to new infections, the trend in new infections, as well as testing and tracing.

Reports said member states were assessing two different lists. According to a Politico report, one covered countries with fewer than 16 cases per 100,000 people and the other with up to 20 cases, which would include Canada and Turkey. The New York Times said the list would be revised every two weeks, so the US could be added later.

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