The European Union has instructed its members to remove the US – as well as Israel, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia – from the list of safe countries for non-essential travel, citing the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
Monday’s announcement by the European Council amounts to a recommendation to the bloc’s 27 member states, which technically retain sovereignty over their own borders. It reverses the June recommendation to ease restrictions on US travelers.
BREAKING: The European Union has taken the United States off its safe travel list due to rising coronavirus infections and has recommended reinstating restrictions on U.S. travelers. https://t.co/71pAM4dGSo
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 30, 2021
The EC updates its travel recommendations every two weeks, based on Covid-19 infection levels. To be considered “safe” a country needs to have no more than 75 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the 14-day period.
According to AP, the US averaged 152,000 new Covid-19 cases per day last week, on par with numbers from late January.
Meanwhile, tourists from the EU – and much of the rest of the world – remain banned from entering the US under the restrictions imposed early in the pandemic. In early August, the Biden administration was rumored to be considering a vaccination requirement to reopen the borders, but nothing has been heard about the proposal since.
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