As countries in the European Union (E.U.) begin reopening to other member states, Americans may be left on the outside. According to a report by The New York Times, as E.U. officials finalize a list of who can visit the bloc as of July 1, Americans, as of now, are not included. The reason: The country has failed to control the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to the United States, those from Russia and Brazil are also unwelcome, according to the list. According to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, the U.S. has the most cases and deaths of any country in the world, with 2.3 million cases and over 120,000 deaths. According to The New York Times, cases in the U.S. are beginning to increase again, with 26 states reporting an increase in confirmed cases.
The creation of a common list of outsiders who can enter the U.E. is part of an effort to fully reopen its internal borders among the 27 member states, as free travel and trade among members is a core principle of the bloc. Previous “piecemeal” national policies have led to mixed results. Countries on the lists have been selected based on a combination of epidemiological criteria. The benchmark is the E.U. average number of new infections over the past 14 days per 100,000 people (currently at 16). The United States is at 107, while Brazil’s is 190 and Russia’s is 80, according to The Times.
Travelers from the U.S., with the exemption of “essential travel,” have been barred from visiting the European Union since mid-March. A final decision regarding the reopening of its borders is expected early next week, before the bloc reopens on July 1. Note: While the E.U. can’t force any of its members to adopt this policy, it’s expected that failure by any of the members to accept could result in the reintroduction of closed borders within the bloc.
While the move to reopen the E.U. is spurred by a need to revive economies, excluding the United States is expected to put a sever dampening on the total effect. Millions of American tourists visit Europe every summer, according to The Times, and business travel is common, given the economic ties between the U.S. and the E.U.