US visitors may be barred from EU in review of travel restrictions 2 weeks ago

US visitors may be barred from EU in review of travel restrictions

Travel restrictions have gradually been lifted in a number of European countries in recent weeks.

Visitors from the United States may be barred from entering the European Union as the lifting of travel restrictions accelerates from the beginning of next month.

Since the start of June, European countries have been easing restrictions on visitor entry to varying degrees in a bid to boost the tourism industry during the summer months.

Despite being one of the worst-hit countries by the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, for example, Italy became the first country to reopen its borders to EU citizens on 3 June, while Spain lifted border restrictions to EU countries on 21 June.

In Ireland, a report by the Aviation Recovery taskforce this week recommended the lifting of travel restrictions and the removal of quarantine measures by 1 July.

1 July is also the date that the European Commission said that EU member states should have agreed on a common list of non-EU countries for which travel restrictions can be lifted.

According to draft lists of acceptable travellers seen by The New York Times, the United States would be omitted from that list due to its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic to date.

Two potential lists are currently being considered, according to The New York Times, based on the response of individual countries to the pandemic. The United States is excluded from both, along with countries such as Brazil and Russia, while China is said to be included on both lists of acceptable travellers.

According to live data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, meanwhile, there have been over 121,000 Covid-19-related deaths in the United States, more than double the amount of any other country. The United States also has more than double the amount of cases of any other country worldwide.

This week, President Donald Trump said that the high number of cases is down to the United States “testing far more than any other country” and suggested that “with smaller testing, we would show fewer cases”.

Trump added that the United States is doing a great job in its response to coronavirus but that "the Fake News refuses to acknowledge this in a positive way" while at the same time acknowledging the job done by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

News about the potential ban on US visitors entering the European Union comes after efforts were made by the EU to grant exemptions to EU citizens resident in the US who are affected by the travel ban currently in effect. The ban, which applies to most European countries, prevents those affected from re-entering the United States barring specific exceptions.

It was also revealed this week that Trump will sign an executive order extending a ban on certain foreign workers from entering the United States, a ban that includes the J1 visa, commonly used by Irish college students and recent graduates to temporarily work and live in the US.