Europe is envisaging the reopening of its external borders on July 1. EU ambassadors are to meet on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
The BBC reports that while there are European countries that are anxious to open for the tourist season, others are cautious of the potential of the coronavirus to continue spreading. The EU is trying to come to a unanimous decision regarding standards that non-European countries should meet before deciding on a ‘safe’ list.
It’s expected that US citizens will be barred from gaining entry as, although it’s number of infections is already the world’s highest at almost 2.5 million, US figures are still on the rise. Brazil, Russia and other countries with high infection rates would probably also not find themselves on a ‘safe’ list. Further Brazil, Peru, Chile, Panama and Saudi Arabia have been categorised as countries with the highest “case notification rate” by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
According to the BBC the European Commission is advising ambassadors to only consider countries that have similar to, or better than, the EU average regarding new infections.
Other criteria under consideration are reciprocity and links to the EU, with countries such as France wanting the EU to give access only when it is reciprocated by other countries, and Spain impatient to reopen the border to tourists from Morocco.
Concerns that barring a particular country over Covid-19 could cause political friction with allies or further escalate current tensions have also to be addressed.
The New York Times, meanwhile, reports that the said list would be revised every two weeks, so rejected countries do have a chance of later being added to the list, which is to be published on Friday.
Umm Muhammed Umar