EU May Backtrack Again on Loosening Curb on Foreign Visitors
(Bloomberg) -- The European Union appears set to keep its external borders shut to travelers from most countries including the U.S. for at least two more weeks amid spikes in coronavirus cases, according to two officials familiar with the matter.
The EU is leaning toward shortening a list of 13 states -- Canada, China, Japan and South Korea among them -- whose residents have the green light to visit the bloc, the officials said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because deliberations on Monday among experts were confidential.
The EU’s travel “white” list also includes Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
Algeria and Morocco may be removed when EU member-country diplomats take a decision scheduled for Wednesday, according to one of the officials. The verdict will amount to a non-binding recommendation to EU national governments.
The EU is conducting its second biweekly review of a July 1 move to loosen a pandemic-induced curb on non-essential travel to the bloc. In the first review completed on July 17, the EU shortened the list from an original 15 states by removing Serbia and Montenegro as a result of new infections there.
A resurgence in virus cases around the world is hampering European efforts to emerge from national lockdowns and revive domestic economies during the summer tourist season.
The external-border recommendation covers 30 European countries: all EU member states except Ireland plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland because they are part of the bloc’s passport-free travel area.
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