EU Excludes United States from 'Safe' Travel List

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  • People wearing protective face masks wait in line outside NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health Morrisania neighborhood health center, one of New York City's new walk-in COVID-19 testing centers, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 20, 2020. Deaths also have slowed in recent days, rising by about 1,500 so far on Monday compared with over 2,000 a day for most of last week. The United States had a record 2,806 deaths in a single day on Wednesday. REUTERS/Mike Segar

    People wearing protective face masks wait in line outside NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health Morrisania neighborhood health center, one of New York City's new walk-in COVID-19 testing centers, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 20, 2020. Deaths also have slowed in recent days, rising by about 1,500 so far on Monday compared with over 2,000 a day for most of last week. The United States had a record 2,806 deaths in a single day on Wednesday. REUTERS/Mike Segar

    TEMPO.COBrussels - The European Union has excluded the United States from its initial “safe list” of countries from which the bloc will allow non-essential travel from Wednesday, July 1. 

    The 27-member bloc gave approval on Tuesday, June 30, to leisure or business travel from 14 countries beyond its borders, the Council of the EU, which represents EU governments, said in a statement.

    The countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

    China has also been provisionally approved, although travel would only open up if Chinese authorities also allowed in EU visitors. Reciprocity is a condition of being on the list.

    Russia, Brazil and Turkey, along with the United States, are among countries whose containment of the virus is considered worse than that of the EU average and so will have to wait at least two weeks. The bloc will carry out fortnightly reviews.

    The move is aimed at supporting the EU travel industry and tourist destinations, particularly countries in southern Europe hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The list needed a “qualified majority” of EU countries to be passed, meaning 15 EU countries representing 65% of the population.

    It acts as a recommendation to EU members, meaning they could potentially set restrictions on those entering from the 14 nations and will almost certainly not allow access to travelers from other countries.

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

    Greece is mandating COVID-19 tests for arrivals from a range of EU countries, including France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, with self-isolation until results are known.

    The Czech Republic is not allowing in tourists from Portugal and Sweden.

    British residents can also travel to many EU countries, although non-essential travelers to Britain are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

    Read: Vietnam Not Ready to Open Doors to Foreign Tourists Yet: PM

    REUTERS