EU reopens borders to 14 nations, but not U.S.

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A bird's eye view of Las Ramblas in Barcelona.
A bird's eye view of Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union announced Tuesday that it will reopen its borders to travelers from 14 countries, but most Americans have been refused entry for at least another two weeks due to soaring coronavirus infections in the U.S.

Travelers from other big countries like Russia, Brazil and India will also miss out.

Citizens from the following countries will be allowed into the EU’s 27 members and four other nations in Europe’s visa-free Schengen travel zone: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

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

Countries on the safe list are expected to lift any bans they might have in place on European travelers. 

The daily number of new confirmed cases in the United States has surged over the past week. The U.S. has the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak, with nearly 2.6 million people confirmed infected and over 126,000 dead, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that experts say understates the pandemic’s true toll due to limited testing and other reasons.

In contrast, aside from a notable recent outbreak tied to a slaughterhouse in western Germany, coronavirus spread has generally stabilized across much of continental Europe.

The EU list does not apply to travel to Britain, which left the EU in January. Britain now requires all incoming travelers -- bar a few exceptions like truck drivers -- to go into a self-imposed 14-day quarantine, although the measure is under review and is likely to ease in the coming weeks. The requirement also applies to U.K. citizens.

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