EU reviews remove US from safe travel list as Covid cases soar there

The EU is considering removing the US from its safe travel list, meaning it would recommend unvaccinated US travelers who wish to enter bloc countries, including France, to have a key reason to to come.

If France chooses to follow this, it would mean removing the United States from its national “green” list, presumably on its orange list. This means that, for those who are not fully vaccinated, an “essential reason” is needed as well as a commitment to undertake a seven-day quarantine followed by a Covid test.

Reuters reported that the United States could be removed from the European Council’s security list this week, after discussions late last week. An announcement is expected today.

This change is due to the fact that countries generally should not have more than 75 new daily Covid cases per 100,000 population in the last 14-day period, to qualify for the Safe List. In June, when the United States was added to the safe bet list, it did. France then reacted by placing the United States on its list of “green” trips (minimum requirements).

However, the United States has not qualified under the rule for some time, although no changes have yet taken place, which some commentators have attributed to a tolerance during the summer vacation period.

But from the first half of August, the United States had recorded 507 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which places it clearly above the authorized threshold. Kosovo, Israel, Montenegro, Lebanon and North Macedonia could also be removed from the safe people list this week for the same reason.

The change was recommended by Slovenia, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency and is responsible for assessing the countries to which non-essential travel is permitted.

Still, Bloomberg and Reuters reported that there is still no unity among member countries.

Some would be in favor as long as there is no reciprocity from the United States on entry requirements (which has not been the case so far). Other EU states are keen not to remove the US from the EU’s safe list at all.

The French Minister of Tourism had previously complained about the lack of reciprocity on the part of the United States, which limits travel from the EU to limited cases such as American residents and those whose visit is in the national interest of the United States.

Lobbying group Airlines for Europe said in a statement: “Such a decision [to remove the US from the safe list] would be hugely disappointing for European airlines, not to mention our tourism sector, which has benefited greatly from the influx of American travelers since the restrictions were lifted in June.

The full list of safe trips to the EU for third countries can be seen here on the website of the European Commission. As of this writing, the United States is still there.

Travel to the United States

The United States is still closed to tourist travel from the EU, with transatlantic flights open to British and European tourists, they are not expected to restart until September or later

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged US authorities to lift the travel ban earlier this month. She called it “illogical” because, she said, the US and the EU have similar Covid situations.

All travelers coming from France who are authorized to enter the United States (for example, because they are permanent residents or United States citizens) are currently required to provide a negative test result taken within three days, or to prove that they have recovered from the Covid-. 19 in the past three months.

They must also take a Covid test three to five days after returning to the United States. Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine; unvaccinated travelers are required to do so for seven days.

Currently, there are no quarantine measures for travelers from the United States arriving in France, but that could change if the EU changes its travel security list.

France at the highest American level

It comes after the United States placed France on its highest Covid alert level and warned its citizens against all non-essential travel to France.

On August 9, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national health protection agency placed France on its “level 4: very high” list for Covid risk.

He even said those who couldn’t change or postpone their trip should be fully vaccinated, and said: “Due to the current situation in France, even fully vaccinated travelers could be at risk of contracting and spreading variants. of Covid-19. “

Generally, traveling to a Level 4 country from the United States for non-essential travel will void travel insurance.

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