The European Union is considering barring travellers from high-risk Covid-19 countries such as the US, Brazil and Russia when it opens its borders to other regions from July 1, according to a ‘draft list’ seen by the New York Times.
THE new ban, expected to be announced before July 1, is expected to bar countries that have handled the coronavirus pandemic ‘poorly’ and seen ‘increases in cases.’ With more than 2.3 million coronavirus cases and 120,000 deaths, the US has registered the most infections and fatalities in the world, followed by Brazil.
Nevertheless, Trump’s administration claims that the pandemic in the US is under control. So banning US citizens would inevitably be a huge blow to the US image. That said, travel to the US from much of Europe, which has been prohibited (since mid-March) has not been lifted either, despite the disease now under control in many parts of Europe.
Countries on the lists, identified ‘as safe’ were selected based on several criteria, according to the report, such as the average number of new infections per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. The EU’s rate for example is 16, compared to Brazil’s 190, the US’s 107 and Russia’s 80. However, the list would be reviewed ‘every two weeks based on new case counts,’ noted the report.
A finalised list is expected to be presented by the EU next week. The news will come as a relief to Spain, particularly for regions like Madrid which is demanding greater restrictions on travellers from high-risk countries, because they fear an increase in imported Covid-19 cases.