The European Union threatens to restrict travel from the U.S. in response to rising Covid cases

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Coronavirus pandemic update

Ministers from all 27 member states warned that the EU should restore restrictions on U.S. travelers due to coronavirus infections and increased hospitalizations.

The European Council said on Monday that it had removed the United States from the list of countries that should lift temporary restrictions on non-essential travel “after review.”

The infection rate in the United States has risen to more than 300 new Covid cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThe European Union believes that the safe infection rate does not exceed 75.

Some EU politicians are also frustrated that the The EU relaxed its rules earlier this year, The United States did not respond by lowering restrictions on international entry.

The proposed non-essential travel ban is not binding, so every EU country must decide whether to implement it.

People with direct knowledge of the plan told the Financial Times that Americans who have received EU-approved vaccines can still travel, even if their reason for doing so is not necessary. The European Medicines Agency recognizes BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Just like the European Union and the United Kingdom, the United States experienced a wave of infections in the summer because Delta variants become dominantBut unlike most parts of Europe, the vaccination rate in most parts of the United States is still relatively low, which means that the vaccination rate has risen faster and deaths will follow.

After the rapid launch earlier this year, the rate of vaccination in the United States has slowed because a considerable number of people have become more entrenched in their resistance to vaccination. The United States has fully vaccinated 52% of the population, compared with 57% in the European Union and 64% in the United Kingdom.

Therefore, according to the analysis of public data by the British Financial Times, the number of Covid-19 cases in the United States has climbed to the highest level since January, which is more than three times that of the European Union. In some states such as Florida, more people are infected every day than at any time during the pandemic.

Therefore, although the death toll in Europe is still relatively low, the United States records more than 1,250 per day—twice the death rate per capita in the United Kingdom and four times the rate in the European Union.

European policymakers are frustrated that despite this, the Biden administration still prohibits foreigners from entering the United States from countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Schengen area.

Brussels banned American tourists at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, but lifted the restrictions in June, allowing American tourists to travel freely between member states during the important summer period in Europe, although specific entry requirements are at the discretion of each country.

EU officials denied the proposal to reinstate the travel ban due to the lack of reciprocity in the United States.

The EU Minister said in a statement that these standards “cover the epidemiological situation and the overall response to Covid-19, as well as the reliability of available information and data sources”. “Reciprocity should also be considered based on specific circumstances.”

Even after the EU-wide ban was lifted, some EU countries still imposed some restrictions on American travelers.For example, Americans entering France must show proof of full vaccination and Affidavit They have not been in contact with people infected with Covid, and they have no symptoms.

The Council of Ministers called for the gradual removal of restrictions on countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

It also recommended restrictions on travel from Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and the Republic of Northern Macedonia. The committee stated that the list is under constant review and will be updated regularly.

According to EU guidelines, if people are increasingly worried about the increase in the number of Covid infections in any particular destination, EU countries can intervene by implementing an “emergency brake” to immediately stop international travel.

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