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Americans May Remain Banned After EU Reopens Borders

Infection rate is far too high for US to be on list of 'safe' countries
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2020 3:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – The European Union is preparing to open its borders to travelers from countries that have the pandemic under control—but the US is nowhere close to qualifying, according to draft lists seen by the New York Times. One list, with 47 countries, contains only countries with infection rates lower than the EU average of 16 new infections per 100,000 people over the last 14 days. Another list, with 54 countries, includes those with slightly higher rates. The US, however, has an infection rate of 107 per 100,000, according to the Times' database, meaning American travelers would be barred, along with those from Russia, which has an infection rate of 80, and Brazil, where the infection rate is 180. The EU, which banned most travel from the US and other non-EU countries, in March, aims to finalize details on reopening by July 1.

"The idea is, from July 1, to be able to put on the table a list of countries overseas from which we can come or go," says French Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, per Forbes. Both lists are believed to include China—despite concerns about transparency over the country's number of cases—as well as developing countries like Cuba and Vietnam, which has recorded no coronavirus deaths. Some of the EU's 27 member states have already started accepting travelers from non-EU countries, but officials, who have been haggling over the lists for weeks, say they want to ensure a common travel policy so that internal borders between European nations can be lifted. (President Trump, accusing the EU of failing to address the "foreign virus," suspended travel to the US from the bloc on March 11.)

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