As Europe’s touristic destinations begin opening their borders for travelers from July 1st, EU regulators are preparing to ban American travelers from entering the bloc. Along with Russia and Brazil, the United States has failed to flatten the coronavirus spread curve, and EU leaders are fearful of the consequences should countries allow those visitors.
The international community has criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic, and now the millions of American’s who usually visit Europe are not likely to vacation here until the outbreak is under control in their country.
According to the news, the final decision on which countries will be excluded from the EU’s list of admissible travelers is expected early next week, before the bloc reopens on July 1. EU Member states may end up with not one, but two lists of acceptable travelers. This will depend on how countries are handling the COVID-19 catastrophe.
Europe has, more or less, dampened the spread of COVID-19 as many of the bloc’s nations emerge from strict lockdowns. In the U.S. more than 2.3 million cases and 120 thousand deaths. Meanwhile, in places like Greece and Croatia, both having taken immediate action against the virus, deaths and the spread have been far more limited than the international norm.
The countries on the E.U. draft lists were selected based on a combination of epidemiological criteria for safety. According to the NYTs’ story, “the benchmark is the E.U. average number of new infections — over the past 14 days — per 100,000 people, which is currently 16 for the bloc.” In the United States, this number is 107, while Brazil’s is at 190 and Russia’s coming in with 80, according to a Times database.
As EU authorities mull over the decision to ban American travelers, the Trump administration’s top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci says the US has “been hit badly,” as cases in Florida, Arizona, and Texas continued to surge. The presidential adviser also says he was “really quite concerned” about rising community spread in some states while adding ”the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges.” In Europe, the fear is an obvious one, that travelers from the United States will deliver the second wave of cases the international community is trying to avoid.