MONDAY, Aug. 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Due to surging COVID-19 cases, the United States will be removed from the European Union’s “safe list” of countries whose citizens can travel to the 27-nation bloc without additional restrictions such as testing and quarantines.
The change is expected to be announced Monday, but will not be mandatory for EU member nations, who can decide for themselves whether or not to impose the new measures, The New York Times reported.
To be on the EU’s safe travel list, a country must have had fewer than 75 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 a day over the previous 14 days. The U.S. infection rate is much higher than that and COVID-19 hospitalizations nationwide rose above 100,000 last week for the first time since January, The Times reported.
Most European countries reopened their economies this summer after vaccination campaigns picked up speed in recent months. Countries like France and Italy, among others, have required proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result for people to dine in restaurants, visit museums, or attend concerts, making COVID-19 passes a fixture of daily life.
Even as Americans were welcomed back to Europe in June, the United States has remained closed to Europeans. Other countries expected to be removed from the EU’s safe list include Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, The Times reported.
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