Of the two million confirmed coronavirus cases, more than 113,000 Americans have died since the virus appeared here a few months ago.


Americans may be among those who are blocked from visiting EU countries as soon as they reopen their borders to visitors outside the continent starting July 1.

Kasper Zeuthen, senior media adviser for the EU delegation to the US, said the European Commission would recommend progressively lifting travel restrictions based on objective criteria that measure the scope of a pandemic in each country.

The first yardstick: “The epidemiological situation in certain countries … must be as good or better than in the European Union,” he said.

Based on European Union data, Bloc, plus the United Kingdom, had 1.5 million COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

The United States leads the world in the number of corona virus cases with 2.3 million Tuesday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins data. Brazil has 1.1 million cases, and Russia numbering around 600,000.

EU officials will determine which visitors are allowed by seeing new infection trends, testing capacity, contact tracing and other steps taken by countries around the world to curb the spread of the virus within their borders.

Zeuthen said the European Commission is now considering which countries meet the criteria for lifting travel restrictions, with another meeting set for Wednesday.

“Discussions are ongoing with the intention to approve the joint list on July 1,” he said in an email. “Our main concern is health, and travelers will continue to be informed as we move forward,” he said.

Whether Americans will be included in the list of travelers allowed to visit the block is still uncertain given COVID-19’s high number of US cases and lack of contact tracking. The European Union’s feud with President Donald Trump over his sweeping travel restrictions from European countries to the United States in mid-March did not help.

Based on The New York Times, who first reported the story, and CNN, The European Union is considering expelling Americans and bidding two lists of allowed potential visitors. But Kasper said “there is no finalized list”.

Border check canceled June 15 for most Europeans, even though this is a patchwork shifting from different rules, and not all people are equally free to go anywhere.

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The need to make the European tourism industry up and running again is very urgent for 27 EU countries as the economic downturn from the mushroom crisis.

Even if the EU decides to welcome Americans, it is Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently advise against international travel.

Americans will be welcome to visit the United Kingdom under separate regulations, but they will be locked in their hotel room or vacation rental because Quarantine requirements 14 days.

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In the first 10 months of 2019, the Latest figures available, 16.6 million US citizens traveled to Europe, up 7.3% from the same period in 2018, according to the US Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office. Europe is the second most popular international destination for American travelers after Mexico, accounting for almost one in five trips. This is the most popular overseas destination with a wide margin, accounting for more than 40% of trips. The Caribbean is the second, with 7.8 million US citizens visiting in the first 10 months of 2019.

Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson, Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY; Associated Press


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