Wednesday, 15 July, 2020

European Union delays decision on external border reopening

An EU diplomat says the citizens of permitted countries will be able to enter Europe by the end of next week An EU diplomat says the citizens of permitted countries will be able to enter Europe by the end of next week
Deanna Wagner | 30 June, 2020, 17:25

Countries like the United States, Brazil and Russian Federation have also been excluded from the list.

Non-essential travel to the European Union has been banned since mid-March, but only after member states closed their national borders in confusion and without coordination as the pandemic grew.

The EU is working on a draft list of countries for allowing citizens of some countries to travel in the EU on July 1, according to the Euronews.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said on Monday: "Today we are reporting at least six cases associated with worldwide travel".

That list of safe countries was officially unveiled by European officials on Tuesday.

The European Union released a list of 54 countries qualified for travels into Europe, reports.

The same sources have also confirmed that citizens of Brazil, Qatar, the United States and Russian Federation will only be able to enter Europe at a later date when the epidemiological situation in these countries improves.

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On the proposed list of the 14 nations are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.

Locked away in a meeting room in Brussels, officials are debating who will be allowed to enter the European Union on July 1 when the bloc's global borders are scheduled to be opened - and who will be forbidden.

Attitudes to Russian Federation remained largely unchanged, other than in Italy, where almost a quarter of respondents said they perceived the country more positively as a result of the pandemic.

The second diplomat said member states were considering using a country's rate of infection per 100,000 people to decide whether to allow in passengers, but had not yet agreed at what threshold to set this criteria.

Without the U.S. at the head of the multilateral system, the authors conclude, Europeans want the EU to take more "ownership" of worldwide challenges such as the pandemic and the climate emergency.

Although the EU Council's recommendation was not a legal binding instrument, only travel restrictions on the countries on the "safe" list could be lifted.

The United States is now the country most affected by COVID-19 with more than 125,000 deaths - while Europe believes it has passed the peak of its outbreak.