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EU - Covid-19 ban

US left out in the cold as EU borders stay closed for 'unsafe' Covid-19 zones

The border checkpoint between Harrislee in Germany and Padborg in Denmark is displayed at the border crossing in Harrislee, Germany.
The border checkpoint between Harrislee in Germany and Padborg in Denmark is displayed at the border crossing in Harrislee, Germany. AP - Frank Molter
2 min

The Unites States is one of a number of countries excluded from the European Union’s coronavirus “safe list” of countries from which the bloc will allow non-essential travel from Wednesday. 


The EU edict goes into effect on Wednesday 1 July.

Business and vacation travel to the EU is approved for 14 by the Council of EU, which represents governments in the regional bloc. It has deemed these countries as having managed to contain the contagious Covid-19.

Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay are allowed to enter the EU for non-essential travel.

China is also on the list, but is awaiting confirmation if China is receiving EU members as tourists or business travellers.

This list was drawn up to ensure that the EU travel industry would be supported, especially countries in southern Europe who depend on tourism.

Those countries that have not contained the virus on par with the EU average, including the US, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, will need to wait at least two weeks before being considered on the safe list.

Turkey urged the EU to correct the "mistake" of excluding it from the bloc's list of safe coronavirus travel partners.

"The lack of Turkey's presence on the list is disappointing," Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami

Turkey claimed it had handled the Covid-19 pandemic well, the country has recorded 5,131 deaths since the first reported case of coronovirus.

The EU will review the countries and the contagion rates every two weeks.

At least 15 EU countries, or 65 percent of the population, had to vote for a country to be placed on the safe list.

While this is not set in stone and is only a set of recommendations, EU members are likely to ban access from countries not on the list to protect their citizens.

The EU has tried to reopen internal borders, as a number of countries have restricted access for some visitors, such as the Czech Republic, who will not allow tourists from Portugal or Sweden.

Greece opened its borders to international travel on June 15 to the mainland, with island airports slated to open on 2 July, and will test visitors for Covid-19 coming from France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

While British residents are allowed to travel to a number of EU countries, visitors to Britain must self-isolate for 14 days.

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