Nigeria, US excluded as EU releases countries allowed into European countries

Clay Curtis
June 30, 2020

The EU issued the finalised list of "acceptable countries", based on how well the nations are faring in handling the covid-19 pandemic, after a delay of several days due to some EU member states seeking more time to decide.

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

The EU said China is 'subject to confirmation of reciprocity, ' meaning it must lift all restrictions on European citizens entering China before it will allow Chinese citizens back in.

Russian Federation and Brazil, along with the United States, are among countries that did not make the initial "safe list".

However, the health-based criteria collided with national interests and geopolitics, with some countries reluctant to collectively ban the USA while welcoming visitors from China, where the pandemic began.

The EU imposed restrictions on non-essential travel to its 27 nations, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which are part of the Schengen open-borders area, in March to halt the spread of the virus.

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The UK is still covered by European Union rules until the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.

The EU diplomats confirmed that an official agreement on the criteria - likely to include a limit on the infection rate per 100,000 citizens - is expected late on Monday or early Tuesday.

The EU will continue to ban travellers from the U.S. and most other countries beyond July 1, EU diplomats told German news agency dpa.

In March, when cases were rising in Europe, US President Donald Trump had banned most European Union citizens from entering the United States in a bid to curb the outbreak there, angering European Union officials.

Talks dragged on with some European Union members wanting to limit the reopening to countries with an epidemiological situation "comparable or better" than that in the bloc - that is with 16 or fewer cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants over the past two weeks.

A qualified majority of EU countries - at least 55% of the EU countries, representing 65% of the EU population - have signed off on list.

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