The move is aimed at supporting the European Union travel industry and tourist destinations, particularly countries in southern Europe hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Russian Federation has reported 640,246 cases with 9,152 deaths and India has reported 566,840 cases and 16,893 deaths. On the negative side, the United States has banned incoming travelers from Europe's ID check-free travel zone.
Apart from India, the United States is now the most affected country by COVID-19 with more than 125,000 deaths. This means Canadians will be able visit 31 different European countries, starting as early as July 1.
Gabon has recorded 5,394 cases of COVID-19, including 42 deaths, one of the higher rates in Central Africa. "If the situation in a listed third country worsens quickly, rapid decision-making should be applied".
Apart from United States and India, travelers from other big countries like Russian Federation and Brazil also missed out from the list as these countries have increasing numbers of coronavirus cases.
The list also names Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay as "safe" countries.
The 27-member regional group is seeking to revive its virus-hit economy ahead of the summer travel season by removing the travel ban on countries with virus infection rates similar to or below that of the bloc.
In addition, China could be included if it reciprocates by allowing travelers from the European Union.
In March, President Donald Trump suspended all people from Europe´s ID check-free travel zone from entering the US, making it unlikely now that usa citizens would qualify to enter the EU. But while strict lockdown measures have seen those numbers decline across Europe, in the USA there have been recent flare-ups in states such as Florida and Texas while President Donald Trump has encouraged the economy to reopen.
The unanimous decision by the European Council is not legally binding, so states can choose not to open up to all those countries.
The EU says that it will review and update the list every two weeks.
But the bloc urged all member nations not to lift travel restrictions to other countries without coordinating such a move with their European partners.
The report's authors also said that many respondents were "appalled" by the U.S.'s response to tackling the coronavirus crisis at a global level, although the White House has repeatedly denied that it has mishandled the pandemic.
A trade group for the biggest US carriers including the three that fly to Europe - United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines - said it was "obviously disappointed" by the European Union decision.
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