Sunday, December 10, 2023

Citing Soaring Covid-19 Rate, EU Bar US Travelers

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The U.S. is not included on the final list of countries from where travellers can fly into the European Union’s 27 member nations when the bloc reopens its borders Wednesday.

The news came as a top CDC official warned that there currently is “too much virus” in the U.S. to be contained. More than 2.6 million people in the U.S. have contracted Covid-19 and more than 126,000 have died as of Tuesday.

On Tuesday, officials announced that only people arriving from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay will be permitted to enter the E.U. starting Wednesday.

Visitors from China will also be allowed into the E.U. with the provision that the country must allow people from the bloc to travel there. The list will be updated every two weeks as the E.U. monitors the pandemic, which is continuing to spread widely in the United States and many other countries around the world.

For every 100,000 people in the U.S., 107 have become infected with the coronavirus in the past 14 days, E.U. officials said Tuesday. Just 16 people per 100,000 in the E.U. have contracted the virus in the same amount of time.

The E.U. considered countries’ records on contact tracing and testing as well as social distancing protocols when deciding where travels could arrive from. 

Arizona, Texas, and Florida officials all announced in late June that they would pause or reverse parts of their reopening plans as surges in cases were linked to bars and restaurants reopening. But a number of states have shared no plans to reverse course even as case numbers rise.

The U.S. federal government did not impose a nationwide lockdown in response to the pandemic.

“Europe is appropriately placing a travel ban on us,” tweeted Joel Rubin, a national security expert who worked in the Obama administration and on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. “America is isolated under Trump. We’re on our own.” 

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