To slow coronavirus, EU could block American travelers

List of acceptable countries could be presented next week

The European Union is considering blocking Americans from traveling to its 27 member nations as it starts easing restrictions on international travel July 1, according to Fox News.

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The United States will likely fail to satisfy the necessary requirements to gain access due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A European Union official tells Fox News the European Commission has three criteria a country must satisfy to gain access, which are the number and rate of daily COVID-19 cases, the chances that someone with the virus will pass it to someone else in Europe, and the ability of EU citizens to enter the reciprocal country.

The reciprocity requirement may be important to European leaders, as some were angered when President Donald Trump banned European travelers in March.

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But a European diplomat tells Fox News this is purely about keeping EU countries safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We would certainly not call Americans ‘unwelcome’… none of these measures are part of a repudiation of President Trump; lifting travel restrictions is based on a strict risk assessment according to the facts. We certainly hope that normal traveling can resume as soon as possible,” the diplomat said.

Trump hinted last month that European travelers may be able to come to America again soon.

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“We’ll be doing certain announcements on other countries, including Europe as we move along,” Trump said in May. “And where they’re making progress, we’ll start to open it up. But only where they’re making progress.”

Coronavirus has already hit the global economy hard, and Europe’s economy could suffer further from blocking American tourism for the rest of the year. Nearly 18 million Americans traveled to Europe in 2018.

The New York Times reports the EU can’t force its 27 member countries to accept the final list of acceptable countries, which could be presented next week.

The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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