The EU is reportedly in the process of taking the U.S. off its safe travel list, meaning that American travelers coming into the bloc (plus Schengen-area countries) will face more restrictive measures such as quarantine and increased testing.
Diplomats told Reuters that the U.S. would be removed from the list along with Kosovo, Israel, Montenegro, Lebanon and North Macedonia, because all were facing Covid-19 infection rates that are higher than the allowed daily infection rate to be included on the safe list.
In order to stay on this list, countries must have no more than 75 new Covid-19 cases daily per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days. In June, this was the case for the U.S. when it made it onto the list but this week, that figure has risen to 507 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, as reported by Bloomberg.
Should no country object, the new list would be made final on Monday. EU countries are not obligated to follow EU-wide decisions and can also bring in their own policies (as is currently the case across the 27 EU countries).
The EU safe list currently includes Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Republic of North Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine and the U.S.
The news is likely to be a further blow to the travel industry, which has seen a healthy rebound since Americans were approved to come to the EU in June.
The traffic is still one way, as the U.S. travel ban is still in place–several airlines are reportedly in the process of pushing back the restart of transatlantic flights until mid-September, with some fearing a Thanksgiving reopening of U.S. borders for EU and U.K. travelers.