The European Union has confirmed that it will be reopening the continent’s external borders for international travel—from select countries—July 1. The list of kosher nations reportedly numbers 54, and does not include Brazil, Russia, Qatar, or the United States. Last week EU Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said:
“The European Union has an internal process to determine from which countries it would be safe to accept travellers … based on health criteria.”
It goes without saying that the US falls short of even the most tolerant “health criteria,” given that, as of this writing (the figures are rapidly climbing), 2.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 125,000 have died from it. On Saturday, the US recorded 44,703 cases, breaking the previous record (set on Friday) of 44,602. So much for American Exceptionalism …
Brazil isn’t doing much better. It’s currently in second place with with more than 1.3 million total cases and nearly 60,000 deaths. Russia has tons of confirmed cases as well (over 630,000), but very few deaths (9,000). Qatar hasn’t done too badly for itself with less than 100,000 cases, so the EU must know something about it that we don’t. At any rate, don’t let it disrupt your sleep cycle.
EU member states will still have the option to keep their borders closed, according to Business Insider, but those who do will run the risk of alienating themselves from the rest of the continent. Also, EU countries that are especially reliant on tourism will reportedly welcome travelers from additional countries who would be subject to health screenings and other regulations.
Restrictions will not apply to essential workers like diplomats and health care professionals. Students and asylum seekers will also be given more latitude.
More than a dozen non-European countries will be given the green light. That includes China, which is reportedly dealing with a fresh outbreak near Beijing, prompting the government to impose a new lockdown affecting half a million people.
Below is the full list of EU-approved countries:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea