Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

EU countries advised to reintroduce restrictions on US travellers

Brussels has recommended EU members reintroduce restrictions on US travellers entering their countries.

The decision comes as the Delta variant is sending infections and hospitalisations soaring. The US is now registering more than 1,000 new cases per day, the highest level since March.

The US' vaccination campaign has stalled in recent months and fallen significantly behind the EU's inoculation efforts. More than 57% of the EU's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to 52% in the United States.

National representatives met on Monday afternoon to discuss and update the EU's list of safe travel, a process that takes place every two weeks.

The Council of the European Union decided to remove from the list six countries (Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the United States), arguing their current rate of coronavirus infections exceeds the agreed threshold of 75 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days.

The US was first included in the safe list on June 18. The inclusion was followed by weeks of intensive lobbying from European officials who put pressure on their American counterparts to reciprocate and open up their doors for EU citizens.

The White House stood firm and refused to allow entry, all the while vaccinated US tourists entered Europe to enjoy their summer holidays.

Despite the rapid spread of the Delta variant across the world, a small group of countries remain on the EU's safe list: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, Qatar, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Ukraine.

China is also included, although this is subject to reciprocity. The regions of Hong Kong and Macao are also green-listed.

Patchwork of rules

Removal from the EU's safe list means that non-essential travel again becomes subject to temporary travel restrictions, such as testing, quarantine or a downright ban.

However, observance of Monday's recommendation is not mandatory. Individual EU countries are entitled to unilaterally decide whether they keep their borders open to US travellers.

The Council had previously recommended the lifting of restrictions to fully vaccinated travellers, an exemption that still applies to residents of the six removed countries. This decision was also non-binding and its implementation is fragmented across the bloc.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Brussels has pleaded with member states to coordinate the management of external borders and travel restrictions, which remain the exclusive competence of national governments.

Although coordination improved as the severity of the pandemic eased, some EU countries, particularly the southern countries that rely heavily on tourism, opted for a more welcoming approach and opened the doors for any non-EU tourist who could show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Other states opted for more restrictive measures, especially for the unvaccinated.

As of today, the only legal guarantee to avoid any kind of travel restriction is to be an EU resident in possession of the EU Digital Covid Certificate. Those who fall outside this category face a myriad of rules and requirements when travelling into and across the bloc.


Related Articles

Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
Good news: US moves to shield Saudi crown prince in journalist killing
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Mission Improbable: Tom Cruise & Queen Elizabeth
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are not single anymore
Boris Johnson is about to sign a contract with an American company to get millions for giving speeches. Something he did until very recently for free.
Solar + Powerwall ensures you never lose power, even if the grid goes down
Bavarian Prime Minister Söder: "There is no reason for mask obligations, no lockdowns anymore”