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United States Remains on European Council Recommended Travel Ban List

Just over two weeks since the recommended European Union Travel Ban list was handed down, the United States remains off the first revision. America joins Montenegro and Serbia on the list of restricted nations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Deep into the summer travel season, it appears that Americans may not be allowed into the European Union to take a vacation this year. In the first revision of the European Council’s recommended travel ban list, the United States remains barred.

Montenegro and Serbia Drop Off First List Revision

While the United States, Brazil and Russia all stay off the list, two other nations also dropped off after consideration. Both Montenegro and Serbia have been removed from the list of nations recommended for European Union states to “start lifting travel restrictions at the external borders.”

Although the European Council acknowledges that the recommendation list is “not a legally binding instrument,” the nations within the trade bloc appear to be following the list very carefully. Currently, no European Union member states are allowing Americans to enter.

The United Kingdom, which is in the process of exiting the European Union, is allowing Americans to enter. However, those who do travel to the island nation must quarantine for 14 days after arrival. London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is fronting a plan which would allow flyers to test for COVID-19 upon arrival, which could potentially reduce the quarantine time if approved.

Continued Ban Comes as America Leads COVID-19 Cases, Deaths

The European Council’s decision to omit the United States from the allowed travel list is part of their approach to control the spread of the novel Coronavirus. In order for a nation to be put on the allowed list, the number of new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks and per 100,000 inhabitants must be “close or below the EU average,” and nations must display a decreasing trend in new cases.

According to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the United States currently leads the world in COVID-19 cases, with over 3.6 million. America also leads the world in deaths, with 138,649 confirmed deaths. Brazil comes in second with 76,688 deaths, while the United Kingdom has 45,318 confirmed deaths from COVID-19.

Despite the numbers, both airlines and professors suggest that flyers have a low risk of catching the novel Coronavirus during flight. In a pre-peer review study, an MIT professor suggests the risk of catching COVID-19 on an airplane is as low as 1-in-7,700, while the International Air Transport Association says wearing face masks is among the top three measures that create a “feeling of safety” while flying.