USA kept off European Union 'safe list' for resumption of non-essential travel

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The EU will continue to ban travellers from the USA and most other countries beyond July 1, EU diplomats told German news agency dpa.

The EU announced the decision to lift travel restrictions for the 15 countries today.

However travellers from Brazil, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States will not be granted access to the European Union, at least in the first stage of reopening.

According to a report, the European Union has named 14 countries whose citizens it feels are "safe" to travel to the continent amid the coronavirus pandemic but the United States, China, Brazil and Russian Federation have been excluded from the list. The decision is subject to application of reciprocity, and China's inclusion on the list is pending its potential allowance of European Union citizens within its borders.

The European Union list is expected to be reviewed every two weeks, however, EU diplomats were eager to stress on Tuesday that it was "highly unlikely" the criteria for inclusion would be altered.

In turn, those countries considered for the safe list are also expected to lift any bans they might have in place on European travelers.

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Whatever is decided in Brussels will exist only as a recommendation since border control remains a national competence and a limited number of flights to and from banned countries have continued throughout the crisis.

On the current "safe" list, still likely to be amended, are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay, BBC News reported.

It is said the countries however managed to create a list of the countries with a better epidemiological situation, the citizens of which will be able to enter Europe by the end of next week.

The criteria requires that confirmed Covid cases in countries on the list are similar or below that of the EU's per 100,000 citizens over the previous 14 days (starting from June 15).

The United States is now the country most affected by COVID-19 with more than 125,000 deaths - while Europe believes it has passed the peak of its outbreak.

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