EU Monday removed United States from its approved coronavirus itinerary after a review of restrictions.
The move means that unvaccinated American travelers could once again face restrictions on non-essential travel to Europe – just a few months after the US was added to the list of safe trips.
Cases and hospitalizations have risen sharply in the United States in recent weeks. Countries on the EU list must have 75 or fewer infections per capita. 100,000 people during the previous 14 days; The United States is far above that.
The EU Council also decided to remove Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and northern Macedonia from the list. EU Member States are not obliged to follow the Council’s recommendation, but most do.
Last year, the EU restricted non-essential travel from outside the EU to prevent the import of coronavirus; the non-binding travel list catalogs the countries that the Council considers safe enough to travel. This assessment is made on the basis of the countries’ health situation, approach to the pandemic and whether the EU’s opening is reciprocated.
This has not happened with the United States, which continues to restrict access for EU citizens.
The Biden administration’s refusal to lift travel restrictions has created frustration in the bloc. Earlier this month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on the United States to lift its travel ban, arguing that the epidemiological situations in the United States and the European Union were “very similar”.
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