The European Union is set up to restrict the majority of US residents from visiting the region when travel resumes due to concerns about the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.
EU officials are in the process of establishing themselves on a final “safe list” of countries whose residents could travel to the bloc in July, but the United States, Brazil and Russia are excluded, Reuters reported. With the continued spread of the coronavirus in the US at alarming rates, the possibility of allowing American tourists to enter the EU is not even part of the ongoing discussion, six diplomats familiar with the talks told the Washington Post.
The list of allowed countries includes China, but on the condition that China allows travelers from the EU to visit, the New York Times reported.
Various travel restrictions remain throughout the world. Greece, for example, requires Covid-19 tests for arrivals from various EU countries, including France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain. Self-isolation is also mandatory until the results arrive. The Czech Republic has said it will not allow tourists from Portugal, Sweden and part of Poland to enter.
The ambassadors of the 27 EU members met as of Friday afternoon to establish criteria to grant quarantine-free access starting next Wednesday.
A redesigned text was sent to them from 10-20 countries, but many said they had to consult their governments first, diplomats told Reuters. The list did not include the United States, Brazil or Russia, a diplomat told the news agency. Countries are expected to give informal responses by Saturday night.
The news comes as the United States hit a record high for new confirmed cases of Covid-19 this week, hitting 40,000 on Thursday, according to figures released by Johns Hopkins on Friday. New cases are on the rise in most states, leading some governors to back down or pause to reopen.
On Friday, Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, said the country had made “truly remarkable progress” against the virus, despite record numbers. So far there have been 126,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States, most of any country.
Agencies contributed reports