European Union extends ban on US travelers over coronavirus surge

Travelers from the US are banned from entering the European Union for at least another two weeks following a spike in coronavirus cases in some reopened states, European officials announced Tuesday.

The EU will reopen its borders on Wednesday to visitors from more than 15 countries, including Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and Australia, but extended a ban on travelers from the US, Brazil and Russia which are still struggling to combat a wave of new COVID-19 cases.

The ban on US travelers, put into place at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, will be a blow to European businesses who rely on American tourism, particularly in the summer months.

As Europe’s economies reel from the impact of the coronavirus, southern EU countries like Greece, Italy and Spain are desperate to entice back sun-loving visitors and breathe life into their damaged tourism industries. American tourists make up a big slice of the EU market and the summer holiday season is a key time.

Loved ones separated by the virus will also be left in limbo by the travel ban, with European officials extending the lock-down indefinitely.

Britain, which left the EU earlier this year, maintains its own rules and requires visitors to go into a 14-day quarantine.

The EU said China is “subject to confirmation of reciprocity,” meaning it should lift all restrictions on European citizens entering China before European countries will allow Chinese citizens back in.

The list is to be updated every 14 days, with new countries being added or dropped off depending on whether they are keeping the pandemic under control.

With Associated Press

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