The European Union is reportedly discussing plans to reopen member states to foreign travel, although they may keep Americans off the list of acceptable visitors due to the rise of coronavirus cases in the United States.
Neither of the two lists of acceptable visitors included the U.S., Russia, and Brazil amid concerns from E.U. officials that the three countries had not sufficiently responded to the pandemic, The New York Times reported. China, however, was included despite reports that the country has not been transparent about the spread of the virus.
The move represents the first coherent effort by the E.U. to synchronize migration policies among the 27 member states since the outbreak began. Once officials agree on a final list, it is expected to be presented as early as July 1.
Foreign travelers were barred from visiting E.U. countries in March as countries like Italy and Spain were hit hard by the coronavirus. The move was reciprocated by the U.S. as President Donald Trump also barred travel from the E.U. around the same time.
E.U. countries gradually opened up their economies and eased travel restrictions starting in May, and the region has seen a decline in the number of cases since then. Multiple American states, however, have seen significant increases in the number of new infections. (RELATED: Trump’s COVID Task Force Says He Never Asked Them To Slow Down Testing)
The decision to exclude countries from the travel list is based on the number of new infections per 100,000 people reported over two-week periods, according to The New York Times. The E.U. reported 16 new infections per 100,000 people in the last 14 days. By contrast, the U.S. reported 107 and Brazil reported 190.
E.U. Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson stated earlier this month that the travel list would only include countries with lower infection rates, appropriate containment measures, and travel options for E.U. citizens, Reuters reported.
It is currently unclear what the ramifications of barring American visitors would be for the E.U. Although travel between the U.S. and E.U. has decreased significantly this year, the move could have an adverse effect on diplomatic relations.