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    EU confirms ban on US citizens when borders reopen

    Credit: Belga

    United States citizens will not be allowed to enter the European Union from 1 July, when travel restrictions on 15 other countries will be lifted.

    The decision was based on several criteria and conditions, such as the epidemiological situation and containment measures.

    On 27 June, it was already made clear that the US was not included on the draft list of “safe countries” that the EU member states needed to vote on.

    Currently, the US is hardest-hit by Covid-19, with over 2.6 million infections and more than 128,000 deaths. Cases have surged again, with more than 40,000 new confirmed infections on Tuesday, for the fourth time in the past five days, reports BBC.

    One of the EU’s conditions to lift travel restrictions was a number of new infections over the last 14 days, per 100,000 inhabitants, that was close to or below the EU average.

    In recent weeks, several administration officials said US President Donald Trump and his aides were “in denial” about the seriousness of the pandemic, reports CNN.

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    Additionally, the countries should have a “stable or decreasing trend” of new cases over that same 14-day period, compared to the previous 14 days

    The general response to the virus should also be to take into account available information, on aspects such as testing, contact tracing, containment, and treatment, as well as the reliability of the information.

    This list of countries will be reviewed, and could be updated every two weeks, the Council announced.

    The countries that will be allowed to enter the EU are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China is also on the list, but is subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

    Apart from the US, Brazil, Russia, Israel and Turkey have also not been included on the list of safe countries.

    In March, the US was the first country to ban travellers from the EU, as many countries, such as Italy and Spain, were hard-hit by the pandemic.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times