International

EU ready to recommend reinstating restrictions on US travelers

By The Associated Press

BRUSSELS: The European Union has recommended that its member states reinstate a ban on tourists from the US due to rising coronavirus infection levels, EU diplomats said on Monday.

The decision to remove the US from the list of countries safe for non-essential travel will reverse advice from June, when the 27-nation bloc recommended lifting restrictions on US travelers ahead of the summer tourist season.

According to EU diplomats, the guidance could come as early as this week. He spoke on condition of anonymity as the review process was still underway.

However, any decision will be non-binding. The EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism policy and national governments have the right to decide whether to keep their borders open to US tourists.

The European Council updates the list based on criteria related to the level of coronavirus infections. It is reviewed every two weeks.

The threshold for being on the EU list is no more than 75 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days. Coronavirus cases in the US have risen in recent weeks, running more than 1,100 a day, the highest level since mid-March.

Last week, new cases per day averaged more than 152,000, turned the clock to the end of January, and the number of people in hospital with the coronavirus stood at about 85,000, a number not seen since early February.

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