The EU is currently weighing whether to ban American travelers from entering Europe due to the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
European Union officials are in the process of drafting lists to determine who can enter the bloc as of July 1 based on how countries are faring with their current COVID-19 cases, the New York Times reports.
According to one draft list, Americans will be banned from entering the EU because the US has failed to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States, which has the most coronavirus cases in the world and is experiencing a surge in new infections, would be in the same category as No.2 hotspot Brazil and Russia.
There was no immediate comment from the White House.
European Union officials are in the process of drafting lists to determine who can enter the bloc as of July 1 based on how countries are faring with their current COVID-19 cases. Pictured above are travelers arriving at Spain’s Mallorca airport on Monday
Coronavirus infections across the US have now surpassed 2.3 million and more than 120,000 Americans have now died.
Brazil currently has 1.1 million infections and Russia follows behind with nearly 600,000 cases. The United Kingdom currently has 307,000 cases, Spain has 246,000 and Italy has 238,000.
An EU diplomat said the bloc’s executive Commission had proposed three criteria for allowing in passengers from third countries, including the epidemiological situation of that country.
EU member countries, however, would have to determine what the relevant measurements and thresholds should be.
‘There’s no list (of countries), just a list of criteria,’ another EU diplomat told Reuters.
The second diplomat said member states were considering using a country’s rate of infection per 100,000 people to decide whether to allow in passengers, but had not yet agreed at what threshold to set this criteria.
The threshold would also need to account for factors influencing the reliability of this data, such as a country’s COVID-19 testing capacity.
The United States would be in the same category as No.2 hotspot Brazil and Russia. Coronavirus infections across the US have now surpassed 2.3 million and more than 120,000 Americans have now died. Brazil currently has 1.1 million infections and Russia follows behind with nearly 600,000 cases
Earlier this month, the European Commission recommended that the bloc gradually reopen its borders to non-EU travellers from July and use three criteria to decide which countries to allow visitors from.
The criteria included countries having COVID-19 under at least as much control as the EU average, have containment measures during travel, and be willing to let in EU visitors.
EU states will discuss the criteria on Wednesday, although there is no guarantee that a decision will be reached then.
In March, when cases were rising in Europe, Trump banned most EU citizens from entering the United States in a bid to curb the outbreak there, angering EU officials.
While the United States appeared to have curbed the outbreak for several weeks in May, overall cases rose 25 percent last week, according to a Reuters analysis.
For a second consecutive week, Texas, Arizona and Nevada set records in their coronavirus outbreaks and 10 other states from Florida to California were grappling with a surge in infections.
Texas reported over 5,000 new infections on Monday, a single-day record for the state. It has also seen COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record highs for 11 days in a row.
While most states are increasing testing, the percentage of tests coming back positive is also rising. At least four states are averaging double-digit rates of positive tests for the virus: Arizona at 20%, Florida and Utah both at 11%, and Texas at 10%.
By contrast, New York, formerly the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, has been reporting positive test rates of around 1%. The World Health Organization considers positivity rates above 5% to be especially concerning.