EU removes US from ‘safe’ travel list along with five other countries

EU removes US from ‘safe’ travel list along with five other countries
The European Union’s ‘white list’ features ‘epidemiologically safe’ countries

The EU has removed the United Statesfrom its ‘white list’ of destinations, meaning EU states may restrict entry for US citizens.

The States was one of six countries removed from the list, which contains “non-EU/EEA countries that are considered safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, due to the low rates of infections”.

The other countries removed, “following a review”, were Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and the Republic of North Macedonia.

To make the white list, countries must have fewer than 75 new cases daily for every 100,000 people over the previous 14 days, a figure that the US has exceeded in recent weeks.

This comes after the majority of EU countries opened their borders to American citizens in June.

There was frustration from some EU leaders as the US did not reciprocate by relaxing its own travel rules.

The criteria for making the list of safe-for-entry countries “cover the epidemiological situation and overall response to Covid-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources”, said EU ministers in a statement.

“Reciprocity should also be taken into account on a case-by-case basis.”

Yesterday the Financial Times reported that the US rate of infection has risen to more than 300 new Covid cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days, citing figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has led the world with the highest number of infections over the past 28 days, with a total of 38.8 million cases and 637,930 deaths.

The EU’s ‘white list’ is a recommendation only and non-binding, so each EU state can determine for itself whether to restrict the entry of travellers from the six countries removed.

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