The European Union is Expected to Ban U.S. Visitors When It Opens the EU's international borders, along with citizens of Brazil, Qatar and Russia, among others. The EU, which has 27 member countries, is using as its benchmark the average number of new COVID-19 cases over the past 14 days, which at time of writing is 16 per 100,000 people, for the European Union as a whole. The EU plans to allow in citizens of countries with a similar or lower incidence of new coronavirus cases per 100K people over the preceding 14 days. Currently, that list includes:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
- Saint Lucia
- South Korea
- Vatican City
That said, individual EU countries vary considerably; Sweden, which, unlike its Nordic neighbors, Norway and Denmark, never shut down, has a very high average daily new case count over the past 14 days: 152 per 100K. That's higher than the average daily new case count for the U.S. as a whole, which is 107 per 100K over the past 14 days, although that number also masks significant variation among the states.
Sweden is an outlier in Europe; Portugal is at an average of 43 per 100K, while the UK is at 25 per 100K, France is 9 per 100K, Ireland and Norway are between 3-4 per 100K.
Do All EU Member Countries Have to Abide by the EU Recommended List of Countries Whose Citizens are Permitted to Enter?
No; the EU can't force member states to adopt its recommendations, but the risk if some countries are more permissive than others, increasing coronavirus cases, is that stricter border requirements will resume within the EU, as countries with lower COVID-19 prevalence bar arrivals from fellow EU countries with higher case counts.
That scenario could easily happen if countries don't uniformly or close to uniformly adopt similar approaches for international arrivals, since reopening the EU's internal borders among its member countries on July 1, 2020 would enable an international arrival into one member country to freely travel to another, without further immigration control.
How Often Will the EU Update Its Lists of Permitted and Not Permitted Countries?
Every two weeks, the EU plans to update the lists.
Are the Lists Based on Citizenship or Where the Traveler is Arriving From?
The lists are based on citizenship, which points to problems of being both over-inclusive and under-inclusive. They're over-inclusive, since they're barring travel of U.S. citizens who are expats in countries that are on the permitted countries list (such as Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam, etc.) and under-inclusive, since some U.S. citizens hold dual citizenship with an EU country or a country on the permitted list, yet would still be allowed to travel into the EU when traveling on their passport of a permitted country.
When do you hope to visit Europe again?
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