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European Union plans to bar most U.S. travelers when bloc reopens

The New York Times reports:

The European Union is ready to bar most travelers from the United States, Russia, and dozens of other countries considered too risky because they have not controlled the coronavirus outbreak, E.U. officials said Friday.

By contrast, travelers from more than a dozen countries that are not overwhelmed by the coronavirus are set to be welcomed when the bloc reopens after months of lockdown on July 1. The acceptable countries also include China — but only if China allows European Union travelers to visit as well, the officials said.

The list of safe countries was completed by E.U. senior diplomats in Brussels after tortuous negotiations on how to reopen the 27-member bloc to commerce and tourism under a common set of standards after months of lockdown.

The list was backed in principle by most E.U. ambassadors and does not require unanimous support, but still needs to be formalized in member states’ capitals as well as in the central European Union bureaucracy before taking effect July 1. Diplomats did not expect the list to change.

E.U. officials first disclosed on Tuesday that the United States, which has reported more coronavirus deaths and infections than any other country, was highly unlikely to make the final list.

The exclusion of the United States, an important source of tourism to the European Union, represented a stinging rebuke to the Trump administration’s management of the coronavirus scourge. [Continue reading…]

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