EU Won’t Impose Travel Curbs on U.S. Despite Covid Surge

The European Union decided not to reinstate restrictions on non-essential travel from the U.S. despite new Covid-19 cases there exceeding the bloc’s threshold.

The next review of the list of countries being granted unrestricted access into the EU will be in two weeks, according to a spokesperson for the Slovenian presidency, who confirmed Monday’s decision. 

New Covid cases in the U.S. rose to about 270 per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days, according to data compiled by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The EU limit is 75 new cases.

The guidance from the bloc is a recommendation and any decision on who to let in, and what restrictions to impose, ultimately rests with the government of each member state. While countries have largely followed the guidelines, there have been times when individual nations have diverged from them.

EU Won’t Impose Travel Curbs on U.S. Despite Covid Surge

Airline routes between the EU and U.S. have recovered to almost 50% of pre-pandemic levels after Brussels chose to let in fully vaccinated Americans in June. 

Easing mutual access has been a point of contention between the two regions. The Biden administration has kept foreign travel restrictions in place despite pressure to allow visitors from places like the EU. U.S. officials have cited rising delta variant cases as one reason for that decision.

Fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant, new coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose to 761,216 in the week ended Sunday, the highest total since early February, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.

Australia, Canada, Lebanon, Israel, Japan, Serbia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan are also on the list of countries from which non-essential travel is allowed. 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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