Citizens of the United States may soon be ineligible to travel to 27 European Union countries for non-essential purposes, including tourism, without being subject to entry restrictions as the Council of the European Union has removed the US from its safe-countries list after estimating the latter’s epidemiologic situation.
Besides the US, the Council of the EU has advised its Member States to reintroduce entry bans for travellers from Israel, Lebanon, and the Balkan countries; Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia, after estimating that these territories, together with the United States, have been highly affected by the Coronavirus and its new strains, in the last 14 days, VisaGuide.World reports.
SchengenVisaInfo.com previously reported that such a decision would be taken, as these countries no longer meet the needed requirements to be part of the EU’s safe list.
According to the Council of the European Union, from August 30, the list of epidemiologically safe third countries consists of the following states.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- New Zealand
- Republic of Moldova
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
As for China, the country is subject to confirmation of reciprocity, meaning that if authorities in China permit travellers from the EU to enter its territory, the EU will abolish the entry ban imposed on travellers from China. However, the reciprocity rule does not apply to Macao and Hong Kong.
“Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China, Hong Kong and Macao,” the Council of EU has clarified through a statement.
There have been a total of 38,524,389 COVID-19 cases of infection reported in the United States since the start of the pandemic, based on the data provided by the World Health Organization.
Besides, a total of 181,046 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours in the United States and 1,352 deaths due to the Coronavirus.
The figures provided by WHO show that Kosovo has recorded 1,630 COVID-19 new cases of infection and 36 deaths in the last 24 hours.
WHO has revealed that, in the last 24 hours, a total of 6,576 persons tested positive for the virus in Israel.
At the same time, in the last 24 hours, Lebanon has recorded a total of 1,153 new cases and four deaths, Montenegro has reported 557 new COVID-19 infection cases and eight deaths, while North Macedonia has registered 663 new cases and 27 deaths.
Such figures have led the authorities in the EU to tighten their preventive measures and halt the travel process for citizens of these countries, unless for essential purposes.
Countries must have not more than 75 new COVID-19 cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks in order to belong to the EU’s safe third countries list. However, the list is updated every two weeks; therefore, if the Coronavirus situation ameliorates in specific countries, they will be added to the safe list again.
The United States was considered a safe territory by the European Union on June 18, while its travellers were permitted to enter the country without being obliged to follow entry rules or other requirements.
However, even though authorities in the EU previously opened their doors to travellers from America, the latter continues to keep in place its ban imposed on arrivals from Europe for more than 16 months now, despite that such decision has often been urged to be abolished by many governments and organizations, who have called on the US authorities to find new ways in order to deal with the current pandemic situation.
The tourism sector was among the industries that suffered the most due to the spread of the Coronavirus. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) previously stressed that the US risked losing $155 billion in 2020 due to the lack of international tourists due to the COVID-19 situation.