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European Council Recommends U.S. Travel Ban

European Council Recommends U.S. Travel Ban
Joe Cortez

The European Council suggests all their member states refuse to open borders to American travelers this summer. The committee is basing their decision on the spread of COVID-19 compared to the infection rate in European countries.

The European Commission finalized their travel restriction list, and is recommending member states close borders to American travelers until further notice. The travel restriction recommendation list was distributed on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, and excludes lifting restriction on travelers from the United States.

Fifteen Nations on First Allowed Travel List

The European Council’s first travel restriction list names 15 countries, from which inhabitants should be allowed entry starting July 1. Nations on the list include Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. China is also on the list, but is conditional on the confirmation of reciprocity. For the sake of simplicity, the council is considering residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and The Vatican as European Union residents.

As previously reported, nations with heightened COVID-19 cases are remain on the recommended travel restriction list. Joining the United States on the travel restriction list are Brazil and Russia. The list will be re-evaluated every two weeks, as situations change around the world.

Although this is a recommendation and not a mandate, the European Council is strongly recommending all member states adopt the travel ban list. The council is also recommending the four Schengen-associated countries of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland adopt the travel restrictions. According to the official recommendation handed down from the European Union Council presidency, the goal is to re-open borders safely and stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Border control is in the interest not only of the Member State at whose external borders it is carried out but of all Member States which have abolished internal border control,” the commission wrote in their statement. “Member States should therefore ensure that measures taken at the external borders are coordinated in order to ensure a well functioning Schengen area.”

Border Opening Based on COVID-19 Cases

In order to welcome banned travelers once more, the European Council is re-evaluating situations based on three criteria. First, a nation must demonstrate a reduced number of COVID-19 cases. The council suggests the number of new cases of COVID-19 over the preceding two-week period should be lower than or close to the European Union average per 100,000 inhabitants.

Countries should also show a stable or decreasing trend in new COVID-19 confirmed cases, and demonstrate a coordinated response to the novel Coronavirus pandemic. In particular, the council recommends “testing, surveillance, contract tracing, containment, treatment and reporting.”

Although the travel restrictions will continue to apply to Americans, there are some exceptions. The council recommends European Union citizens and family members be allowed to enter, as well as long-term EU residents and their family members. Those with “essential functions or needs” should also be allowed to enter the national bloc.

The U.S. Department of State has not publicly commented on the council’s recommendations.

View Comments (15)


  1. strickerj

    June 30, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    If this is about safety rather than politics, then why is China making the list conditional upon reciprocity?

  2. edgewood49

    June 30, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    This should not come as a surprise to anyone and frankly it makes sense, I don’t like it as we were hoping to spend a few days in London or Paris just to get rid of the shakes from not traveling !

    Of course now you have the anti Americans jumping all over this one. I am however surprised the EU caved in to the Chinese little political pressure ? Hint don’t buy pork chops from China

  3. cityflyer369

    June 30, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    @stickerj (and maybe interesting for everybody else): The criterion for non-EU countries is “at most 16 new infections per 100,000 people in that country”. This criterion has been chosen because it is about the average within the EU.

  4. Gigantor

    July 1, 2020 at 4:05 am

    Smart move by the E.U.
    Canada might not allow US citizens to enter Canada for the next 12-18 months.
    Even smarter move…

  5. Groen Leader

    July 1, 2020 at 4:52 am

    @edgewood49 the UK will probably make its own policy. London is in the UK and the UK is not part of the EU.

    You cant blame the EU for aligning itself with China, its holds considerable amount of the worlds future in its hand!

  6. juergenritz

    July 1, 2020 at 5:01 am

    China still has travel restrictions for Europeans. So al little political pressure can help…. For the US at the moment it make sense not to travel to the US or have visitors from the US. (Same for Brasil) Both countries have to get the virus first under control. If you can”t travel without a quarantine between NY and NV it makes not much sense to think about travel between continents…. But when the virus is under control I am to fly to Vegas from Germany…

  7. kam31uf

    July 1, 2020 at 6:03 am

    Good! We don’t deserve to be allowed to go anywhere, no one can follow instructions for safety in the US.

  8. ConnieDee

    July 1, 2020 at 7:24 am

    I agree that the U.S. government deserves to be shamed this way (sigh) I can’t travel anyway until there’s a vaccine. In the meantime, I’m learning Modern Greek on Mango and Pimsleur. With every vocabulary word about food (souvlaki, cheese pies, ouzo, “village” salad, fish, ports, ferries, beaches, Η Ακρόπολη) Greece is rising higher and higher on my travel dream list.

    The Canada thing is making me feel a bit trapped, however.

  9. xlnja

    July 1, 2020 at 8:42 am

    @kam31uf “We don’t deserve to be allowed to go anywhere” That is a dumb comment. Apparently, you enjoy the government control. I’d rather take the risk and live my life.

  10. FiveMileFinal

    July 1, 2020 at 9:19 am

    @xinja 100% agree. Unfortunately you’re gonna see a whole lot of that from finger-waggers on both sides of the Atlantic for the foreseeable future. Nobody is putting their critical thinking caps on with regards to this virus. Use of a pandemic to destroy economies, limit freedom of movement, and stir up discord amongst nationalities? Perish the thought, that’s conspiracy talk! Yet here we are, when deadlier viruses like dengue, Ebola, chikungunya, and…oh, do tell!…influenza run rampant with none of the protocols applied as they were for SARS-CoV-2.

    I hold out hope yet that things will change for this year but am already planning for next, when I will be more than just a tourist with respect to the E.U. Money will always get you into a country or region, regardless of any theater being put on about public safety.

  11. taffygrrl

    July 1, 2020 at 10:57 am

    We have been outside of the US this entire time in a very safe country, but our visa will run out in a few months here. We are looking for somewhere else to go that is relatively safe, but we’re concerned that due to our passport we won’t be accepted even though we are in a country that is being welcomed from everywhere else.

    Everyone focuses on how deadly the virus is, but it’s not just death that you need to worry about. I know someone who has died from it. I know someone who has “recovered” but still can’t hold a coffee cup. His hands just don’t work anymore. I know someone who still has brain fog months after. Then there’s the people whose kidneys have failed, or who now have diabetes. This thing is no joke. It doesn’t just kill, it also wipes out as many of your bodily systems as it can. Healthcare costs for every country with a big infection load will go through the roof after this.

  12. carlosdca


    July 1, 2020 at 11:37 am

    The infections and cases are completely out of control here in the US and we are as bad as Brazil.
    127,000 people dead, 2.6 million cases and increasing every day.
    Of course they are going to ban US travelers.
    It does not make me happy, it makes me sad that we have not conquered this virus yet.

  13. BC Shelby

    July 1, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    @ Gigantor “Canada for the next 12-18 months.”

    Bugger if the Crime Don gets re-elected, that was to be my “Plan A”. He’s going to take this nation down with him just like he did his businesses and casinos and likely incite greater civil unrest if not a civil war..

  14. PaulMSN

    July 1, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    FiveMileFinal, all the diseases you mention kill fewer people per year, so while the death rate for some after infection is higher than COVID-19, far fewer people have died, while over 500,000 have died from COVID-19 in a little over half a year. Your comparison is invalid, and that’s why we should be taking these measures for this pandemic.

  15. htb

    July 2, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    That’s a very misleading headline, as if the US were at the center of that policy.
    The reality is that Europe ist opening up to only a few counties based on a risk assessment. The US are among many counties who didn’t make the cut.

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