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EU to ban American travellers in criticism of US COVID response

written by Hannah Dowling | June 26, 2020

The European Union has touted the banning of all incoming travel from the US, citing the poor management of the spread of COVID-19 within the US, as it works to re-open borders and rejuvenate its local economies.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that it had reviewed a draft list outlining countries that the EU would consider ‘acceptable’ to allow into Europe, which notably did not contain the US.

The travel exclusion list, once confirmed, will allow for the borders among the 27 EU countries open once more, allowing citizens to once again move and trade freely between member countries, an integral component of the Union.

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The list has reportedly been compiled based solely on how each country is internally handling the spread of COVID-19, and thus the risk that travellers from those regions would pose to citizens of the EU if they were to travel there.

The draft list, should it be ratified, would also see Brazilians and Russians excluded from travel into and throughout the European Union, in a move that is likely to cause mass outrage across the US.

The Times called the potential ban a “stinging blow to American prestige”, as it reflects just how poorly the Trump administration has handled the outbreak of the virus, which has infected more than 2.3 million people within the US, and killed more than 120,000 – more than any other country.

The reviewed list happens to include China, once the epicentre of the disease, as well as Uganda, Cuba and Vietnam, labelling tourists from each of these nations as less of a risk to public health and safety than those from the US.

A final decision on the re-opening of European borders, and the fate of the American traveller, is expected to be released within the next week, in advance of easing restrictions from 1 July 2020.

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However, according to The NYT, European officials involved in the talks believe it is “highly unlikely” that an exception will be made for the US, as the list has deliberately been created to be “as scientific and non-political as possible”.

The officials noted that the US could be added to the list at a later date, which will reportedly be revised every two weeks based upon updated infection rates.

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