Europe Bars Travellers From US As Borders Begin To Reopen
As of Wednesday, July 1, European Union (EU) member states will begin opening their borders to visitors from 15 countries.
The EU will gradually lift the temporary restrictions that had been placed on non-essential travel during full lockdown. These countries include: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
Visitors travelling from China may also be permitted, though this will be ‘subject to confirmation of reciprocity’. Travellers from other countries however, are still barred from entering EU countries, including visitors from Brazil, Russia, India and the US.
The EU closed its external borders in March after the rates of coronavirus infections skyrocketed. Now, as lockdown restrictions ease across a number of countries, member states are preparing to welcome back overseas travellers.
This list is part of a series of recommendations set out by the EU Council to its member states, which establish a criteria countries should meet before residents can cross over borders into EU countries.
Although border control is decided by the individual governments of each member state, EU officials hope that by implementing recommendations, member states will gradually reopen their borders in a unified manner.
The EU Council said:
The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.
Eligible countries will need to have coronavirus infection rates that are equal to or better than those recorded in the EU. They must also be able to demonstrate a ‘stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period’.
The list of countries eligible for the lifting of travel restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks, and may be updated accordingly by the EU Council following a process of consultation and assessment.
On June 30, EU President Charles Michel tweeted:
We are entering a new phase with a targeted opening of our external borders as of tomorrow.
#EU27 member states took this decision in a spirit of close cooperation. We will monitor the situation regularly.
We have to remain vigilant and keep our most vulnerable safe. This is a step forward but health conditions still apply. The fight against #COVID__19 is not over.
According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, the US has recorded more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country, with almost 2.6 million cases and more than 126,000 deaths.
The three countries with the highest number of cases after the US – Brazil, Russia and India – have also been left out of the EU’s list of eligible nations.
With the European tourism industry still struggling following months of lockdown restrictions, it’s expected the loss of American tourists will lead to further difficulties for many businesses.
More than 15 million Americans travel to Europe every year, according to Deutsche Welle, with summer long regarded to be peak tourism season for the continent.
According to the EU Council, the UK will be treated as a member state up until the end of this year. As things currently stand, the UK still has a mandatory 14 day quarantine period for overseas travellers. Other member states have already removed similar mandatory quarantine periods.
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CreditsEuropean Council Council of the European Union and 3 others
European Council Council of the European Union
Johns Hopkins University