EURO BAN ON US TRAVELERS EYED
The United States is on a list of countries whose travelers will be barred from entry to the bloc after external borders are reopened, according to Euronews , citing an unnamed EU source.
Officials have been drawing up lists detailing which countries whose travelers the bloc could allow in -- and those who will still be refused entry -- when the EU's external borders are reopened on July 1, Euronews said.
Other countries to be excluded according to a draft list that will be finalized later on Wednesday include Russia, Brazil and Qatar. An official announcement is expected early next week.
When the European Commission published recommendations to EU member states earlier in June on non-essential travel to the bloc, officials said the list should take into account the infection rate in countries
The criteria are based on the "epidemiological situation and the response to COVID-19 in the third country", the Commission said in a communique to other EU institutions.
"Travel restrictions should not be lifted as regards third countries where the situation is worse as the average in the EU+ area," said the advice.
Some 47 countries are on the draft list of acceptable countries; travelers from 54 nations are likely still to be barred from the bloc, our source outlined.
The United States is on the second list of "unacceptable" countries, the source told Euronews. This confirms a story in the New York Times, which said that according to draft lists it had seen, EU countries were preparing to block travelers from the US where the pandemic has not been controlled.
The US has had more than 120,000 COVID-19 deaths and over 2.3 million cases according to the Johns Hopkins University, with new surges of infections reported in several US states.
Brazil, also on the draft list of countries whose travellers stand to continue being refused EU entry, confirmed more than 39,000 new cases in a single day on Tuesday. Its death toll has now topped 52,600.
Russia, another nation on the list of countries likely to be refused entry, is still recording thousands of new COVID-19 cases every day and has reported over 600,000 in all.