European Union officials are racing to agree on who can visit the bloc as of July 1 based on how countries of origin are faring with new coronavirus cases. Americans, so far, are excluded, according to draft lists seen by The New York Times.
The European Union plans to ban travel from the US when it reopens its borders on July 1st because of the Trump administration’s poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under current plans, the US would join Brazil and Russia on the list of forbidden countries, as all three countries have had comparably poor responses to the virus since the worldwide outbreak at the beginning of the year. Travel from China, as well as some developing countries, will be allowed, the report states.
There was no immediate comment from the White House.
An EU diplomat said the bloc’s executive Commission had proposed three criteria for allowing in passengers from third countries, including the epidemiological situation of that country, but EU member countries would have to determine what the relevant measurements and thresholds should be.
“There’s no list (of countries), just a list of criteria,” another EU diplomat said.
The second diplomat said member states were considering using a country’s rate of infection per 100,000 people to decide whether to allow in passengers, but had not yet agreed at what threshold to set this criteria. The threshold would also need to account for factors influencing the reliability of this data, such as a country’s COVID-19 testing capacity.
Earlier this month, the European Commission recommended that the bloc gradually reopen its borders to non-EU travellers from July and use three criteria to decide which countries to allow visitors from: countries should have COVID-19 under at least as much control as the EU average, have containment measures during travel, and be willing to let in EU visitors.
EU states will discuss the criteria on June 24, although there is no guarantee that a decision will be reached then.
In March, when cases were rising in Europe, Trump banned most EU citizens from entering the United States in a bid to curb the outbreak there, angering EU officials.