US no longer on EU safe travel list, travelers could face restrictions



On Monday, the European Union (EU), recommended that the bloc should once again restrict travelers from the U.S. as the number of COVID-19 cases were rising in the nation. Earlier, sources on condition of anonymity, had told Reuters on Sunday that the decision would be announced on Monday. The decision, to remove the U.S., from the list reverses its June decision when travelers from the U.S. were welcomed to boost summer tourism.


Although the recommendations have been made to all 27 countries in the Union, it is not binding on them, and individual countries can set their own rules. This is going to create confusion as some countries might allow tourists as they need a boost to their tourism and hospitality industry which faced tremendous hardships during lockdown.


In a statement the European Council said that nonessential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed was subject to temporary travel restrictions and that it was without prejudice and that member states could lift the temporary restriction on nonessential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travelers.


The countries removed from the E.U. list on Monday are as follows:


  • U.S.
  • Israel
  • Lebanon
  • Kosovo
  • North Macedonia


The EU updates its safe list depending on the number of coronavirus cases in the country. The threshold of having not more than 75 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people over a period of 14 days is necessary to find a place on the safe list. The list is reviewed once in two weeks.


The U.S. has crossed this threshold. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there have been more than 11,000 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 persons, since the past two weeks


According to Our World in Data, the European Union went ahead of the U.S. in the number of vaccinated inhabitants. Recent data showed that about 64 percent of those who reside in the European Union have taken at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while the number for the U.S. stands at 60 percent.


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