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The European Union has confirmed that American citizens will not be allowed to enter its borders as the bloc begins to ease travel restrictions imposed earlier this year in response to the pandemic.

 

Travelers from America, as well as Brazil and Russia, have been barred from entry because of their countries’ inability to contain the spread of the coronavirus.


Citizens from 14 nations, including Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and China — subject to a pending reciprocal agreement — will all be allowed entry for the first time since March as the EU attempts to rejuvenate the continent’s vital tourism industry.


Despite the pressing economic need though, the EU has judged that allowing U.S. travelers back in is too risky.

 

America’s rate of infection is too high, and the response from the Trump administration has not reassured the experts that this will change anytime soon.

 

The U.S. instituted its own travel ban for visitors from Ireland and the 26-country Schengen common travel area (which includes 22 EU nations) in March.


The U.S. now has more than 2.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 126,000 deaths, making it the worst-hit nation in the world, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

 

Cases have also surged in the U.S. in recent weeks, triggering some states to reverse plans to reopen businesses.


Brazil, Russia, and India, whose citizens have also been banned from entering the EU, are the next three biggest hotspots for the pandemic.

 

Brazil, by comparison, the biggest site of the virus after the U.S., has some 1.3 million infections and more than 58,000 deaths.


The travel ban by the EU does make some allowances for travelers with “an essential function or need.” This includes health care professionals, diplomats, seasonal agricultural workers, and “third-country nationals traveling for the purpose of study.”


The full list of countries whose residents are now allowed entry to the EU is as follows: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Japan, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

 

VES/theverge.com

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