Wednesday, 15 July, 2020

European Union states discuss borders reopening for some non-Schengen countries, U.S. excluded

EU re-opens borders to visitors from 18 countries, US and Russia not on the list Nigeria, US excluded as EU releases countries allowed into European countries
Deanna Wagner | 30 June, 2020, 17:55

According to a report, the European Union has named 14 countries whose citizens it feels are "safe" to travel to the continent amid the coronavirus pandemic but the United States, China, Brazil and Russian Federation have been excluded from the list.

The EU Council said that member states "should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner".

However, Brazil, the United States and China are excluded from the list, BNT reported.

Countries on the EU safe list are also expected to lift any bans they might have in place on European travellers, reports the Associated Press. There are now 15 countries on the draft list for the border to be reopened.

The EU imposed restrictions on non-essential travel to its 27 nations, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which are part of the Schengen open-borders area, in March to halt the spread of the virus.

The commission cleared Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

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There has been a disagreement between European Union countries on the criteria to use for this decision, with some maintaining that data about COVID rates are not reliable.

The EU extended its ban on travelers not just from the US but from other big countries, such as Russia, Brazil and India, all of which are seeing rapidly rising caseloads.

Non-essential travel to the European Union has been blocked since mid-March.

In March, President Donald Trump suspended all people from Europe´s ID check-free travel zone from entering the US, making it unlikely now that USA citizens would qualify to enter the EU.

The United States is not likely to be added to the list at this stage due to the surge in the number of cases of Covid-19, with an all-time high of 45,300 confirmed new daily infections just reached.

Travelers in countries that did not make the list can still enter if they fall under the following exemptions: EU citizens or family members of an EU citizen; long-term EU residents or family members; those with an "essential function or need", such as diplomats, healthcare workers or certain agricultural workers.