Europe Extends Block on US Travelers Over Coronavirus Concerns

Passport control at Larnaca airport Cyprus

Travelers from other big countries such as Russia, Brazil and India, which are all wrestling with sharply rising coronavirus caseloads, will also miss out.

The other third countries where restrictions were lifted include Algeria, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

The list will act as a recommendation to European Union members, meaning they will nearly certainly not allow access to travelers from other countries, but could potentially set restrictions on those entering from the 14 nations.

Russian Federation and Brazil, along with the United States, are among countries that did not make the initial "safe list".

European officials reacted with surprise and anger Thursday (12 March) after US President Donald Trump imposed a trans-Atlantic travel ban they fear will wound economies already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

The US, Brazil and Russian Federation - countries where the coronavirus is still spreading - will most likely remain excluded for the time being.

"There are now 14 (+1) countries on the Union list from which Member States can base their national list of safe countries". The list published today is not legally binding, though most states are expected to follow it. Greece had reportedly objected to the idea of disallowing Americans to visit, but later acquiesced.

European Commission introduced its recommendation for the reopening of internal Schengen borders on June 15, so the citizens of European countries would be eligible to travel within the Schengen Zone freely, as they did before the Coronavirus outbreak. The list is to be updated every 14 days, with new countries being added and some even dropping off depending on whether they are keeping the disease under control. But while strict lockdown measures have seen those numbers decline across Europe, in the US there have been recent flare-ups in states such as Florida and Texas while President Donald Trump has encouraged society to reopen.

A Kenyan passport. Kenya is among countries that have been banned to travel to Europe.

This is after the bloc failed to agree on a common list of the countries that would be banned from entering the block upon the border reopening.



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