The European Union (EU) has opened up its borders to travelers from 15 countries, but the United States is not one of them, Forbes reported, due to the fact that the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of abating.
On Tuesday, the member states of the organization voted to reopen travel to the region, as the various countries within the conglomeration are gradually reopening their borders as the pandemic ebbs on the continent.
However, among the 15 countries that the EU is allowing to send visitors on nonessential travel, the U.S. has been left off of that list. The announcement that the EU won’t allow American travelers comes a day after Johns Hopkins University noted that 25 percent of all coronavirus cases worldwide have occurred in the United States.
Beginning July 1, travelers from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay will be allowed to visit Europe for nonessential travel.
Forbes noted that the list of countries from which travelers are allowed — and, by extension, the list of countries from which they’re not allowed — does not carry the force of law. However, member nations within the EU face internal pressure to abide by the recommendations, and could risk having their own nationals barred from visiting other European countries if they don’t comply.
Meanwhile, the U.S.’ exclusion from the list of approved countries is subject to change, and the EU will review the list every 14 days and make additions or subtractions as necessary.
In order for the U.S., or any country, to get on the “approved list,” a handful of conditions must be met.
- The number of new COVID-19 cases during the prior 14 days and per 100,000 inhabitants must be close to or below the average in the EU.
- There must be a stable or decreasing trend of new cases in comparison to the previous 14 days.
- Further, the country’s overall response to the pandemic will be considered.
Whether or not the United States can meet the criteria within the next two weeks remains to be seen.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the U.S. had previously banned travelers from Europe — a situation that was reciprocated in turn.
“We’ve denied travel to Europe and vice-versa. That’s the posture that we all sit in now.”
He also noted that the State Department is keen to get the matter resolved.
“We’ll work to get this right. We want to make sure that it’s health-based, science-based,” he said.