Today, July 1st, European Union nations reopen their borders to international travel for the first time since March 17th, when the COVID-19 pandemic grasped the continent. But they could block visitors from countries with severe coronavirus outbreaks, including the United States.
According to officials involved in the talks, the draft of a list published in New York Times, does not include American travelers. Europe will continue to bar travelers from the U.S. because the country has not brought the coronavirus outbreak under control. As of June 30, the United States had 2.68 million confirmed coronavirus cases, more than any other country in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The list of countries that will be allowed to travel to the European Union from July 1 includes Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. The list could also consider China, if the country agrees to allow EU travelers to visit as well. Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican will be considered as EU residents as part of the lifting of travel restrictions.
The list, agreed upon by what’s known as the EU+ area, will be updated every two weeks, which leaves the possibility open for countries to be added or excluded.
Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions including some family members and long-term EU residents. These will depend, though, on the member countries who can require to quarantine when they enter the borders. Family members include spouses, legal partners, direct descendants under 21, and family members who are considered dependents or require personal care of an EU citizen.
“The E.U.’s announcement is incredibly disappointing, and a step in the wrong direction as we seek to rebuild our global economy,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, U.S. Travel Association executive vice president for Public Affairs and Policy. “This is unwelcome news and will have major negative implications for economic recovery—particularly if this ban results in cycles of retaliation, as is so often the case.”
Ambassadors are set to meet again on Friday to discuss the next steps in the process.