USA kept off European Union 'safe list' for resumption of non-essential travel

Alex Caparros  Getty Images

Alex Caparros Getty Images

The initial list includes Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, the European Council said on Tuesday.

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.

Border management will remain a matter of national decision, meaning that member countries may decide not to open their borders to all the 15 countries, however they will undertake not to accept visitors from other nations.

While Portugal and Greece, whose economies are highly dependent on tourism, have called for more countries on the list.

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New Zealanders will be able to travel to Europe from July 1. Tens of thousands of travellers had a frantic, chaotic scramble in March to get home as the pandemic swept across the world and borders slammed shut.

The U.S. has a higher number of confirmed cases and deaths related to COVID-19 than any other country. The now experiencing a surge in new infections.

They are asking the ECDC, the European Union agency for disease prevention, to come up with more details, the sources said, adding that the lists will be reviewed every two weeks.

Americans are excluded from the list in the short term due to the number of USA coronavirus cases.

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In contrast, aside from a notable recent outbreak tied to a slaughterhouse in western Germany, the virus' spread has generally stabilized across much of continental Europe.

At the same time, the European Commission stresses that the states must agree among themselves on the list of countries, based on EU recommendations published as early as 11 June.

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.

The list also reportedly includes European Union citizens who would be treated the same way as United Kingdom nationals until the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.

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Non-EU citizens who are already living in Europe are not included in the ban. The requirement also applies to United Kingdom citizens.

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