U.S. kept off European Union 'safe list' for resumption of non-essential travel

Grant Boone
June 30, 2020

Citizens from the following countries will be allowed into the EU's 27 member states and four other nations in Europe's visa-free Schengen travel zone: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

USA neighbour Canada, as well as Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay, were included without conditions on the list.

The EU will also lift travel restrictions for Chinese residents on July 1, on the condition that Beijing reciprocates the action.

The EU is set to announce a list of third countries which it will be reopening its external borders to, as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.

Croatia, which now holds the EU's rotating presidency, requested that countries offer feedback by Saturday at 1600 GMT, with hopes the matter could then be put to a vote among the 27 member states.

"In eight of nine surveyed countries, the share of respondents who have adopted a more negative view of China in the past year has increased by a factor of two and a factor of 10", the report states. Officials have stated that this list "will be reviewed every two weeks to reflect the changing realities of the coronavirus outbreaks in individual nations".

Countries like Germany and Spain, horrified by the devastation of COVID-19, wanted to play it safe.

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A qualified majority of European Union countries have signed off on list, she reports.

China was also included on the list.

The criteria for making the list include trends in published pandemic infection rates and whether these are now higher or lower than those in the EU's 27 countries.

While the recommendations and list of countries are clear, border control is something that is handled at a national level, rather than at an European Union level in Brussels.

"T$3 aking early intense action, we have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe", Trump boasted at the time.

While the decision has in theory been driven by the countries which have low infection rates as well as reliable data, political considerations have also undoubtedly been weighed.

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