European Union releases list of 14 "safe" countries for travel

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The European continent on Tuesday reopened to visitors from 14 countries, but not the USA, where some of the states that pushed hardest and earliest to reopen their economies are now in retreat because of an alarming surge in confirmed coronavirus infections.

As of July 1, citizens of Algeria, Australia, Canada, China*, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, will be permitted to enter Europe SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Russian Federation and Brazil, along with the United States, are among countries that did not make the initial "safe list".

The 27-member bloc is expected to give outline approval to leisure or business travel from Wednesday to 14 countries beyond its borders when they vote on the list by midday Brussels time, the diplomats said.

After tense deliberations, leaders in the European Union have created a list of more than a dozen countries whose residents will be allowed to travel back into the EU's borders once the lockdown lifts later this week, on July 1.

A Kenyan passport. Kenya is among countries that have been banned to travel to Europe. Tens of thousands of travellers had a frantic, chaotic scramble in March to get home as the pandemic swept across the world and borders slammed shut. The U.S.is reportedly not on that list.

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They are asking the ECDC, the European Union agency for disease prevention, to come up with more details, the sources said, adding that the lists will be reviewed every two weeks.

While the recommendations and list of countries are clear, border control is something that is handled at a national level, rather than at an European Union level in Brussels.

The U.S. has the world´s worst coronavirus outbreak, with almost 2.6 million people confirmed infected and over 126,000 dead, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that experts say understates the pandemic´s true toll due to limited testing and other reasons.

The second diplomat said member states were considering using a country's rate of infection per 100,000 people to decide whether to allow in passengers, but had not yet agreed at what threshold to set this criteria.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States has surged over the past week, and President Donald Trump also suspended the entry of all people from Europe's ID check-free travel zone in a decree in March. The requirement also applies to United Kingdom citizens.

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