Reopening of borders: no agreement found, the European Union postpones its decision

Lhe Europeans still cannot agree on a list of countries that their level of contamination with Covid-19 would make it possible to consider as “safe”, allowing their residents to come to Europe in July, we learned on Saturday diplomatic sources in Brussels.

Friday evening, the ambassadors of the countries of the EU and the Schengen area had proposed a list of fifteen states, which excludes the United States where the epidemic seems out of control, and which includes China under condition.

The Croatian EU presidency had given member states until Saturday evening to vote on it, but some asked for more time.

“Consultations are continuing, and will continue until Monday,” a European diplomatic source told AFP.

“It is difficult to predict an outcome, but the presidency hopes to be able to vote on Monday,” said the source.

China but not the United States

The proposed list contains fourteen countries (Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay) to which China is added, on condition of reciprocity. , that is to say on condition that it receives on its soil the travelers coming from the EU, according to a diplomatic source. Travelers from Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican and San Marino are also admitted.

The list therefore does not include the United States, the country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic with 125,255 deaths for 2,492,246 cases recorded on Saturday evening, no more than Brazil or Russia.

It should be reviewed every two weeks.

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If border control remains a competence of each State, the EU is trying to coordinate as much as possible on the question of travelers to authorize on its soil, because of the free movement which resumes in the Schengen area, with the lifting of the restrictions decided to fight against the coronavirus.

Non-essential travel to the EU has been banned since mid-March. This measure must be gradually lifted from July 1, favoring visitors from countries whose epidemiological situation is similar to that of the EU, where the pandemic has subsided, or even better.

Some tourist countries are eager to reopen without delay. Greece, for its part, began on June 15 to reopen its airports to several non-EU countries, including China, New Zealand and South Korea.

The European proposal sets several epidemiological criteria for a country to be on the admitted list, in particular a rate of new cases of Covid-19 close to or below 16 per 100,000 inhabitants (average in the EU) over the last 14 days. But also a tendency for stability or a decrease in new cases, as well as the measures put in place by a country to fight against the pandemic, including the practice of tests.

Several member states, however, considered the reliability of epidemiological data supplied by third countries, notably China, to be “problematic”.

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