World Media

US Travel Reacts to EU Travel Ban

EU re-opens borders to visitors from 18 countries US and Russia not on the list

As Europe prepares to reopen its borders, Nigeria has been excluded from the list of countries whose travelers could be received on July 1.

According to the EC spokesperson, the final list of countries was not agreed on throughout the past week.

China made it to the list, which will be updated every two weeks, but on the condition that Beijing do the same for Europeans, a statement said.

The list of countries outside the Schengen area proposed at a diplomatic meeting on Friday evening include Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

The European Commission, which monitors the bloc's laws, believes that "travel restrictions should not be lifted as regards third countries where the situation is worse" than the average in the 27 EU member countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Americans are nearly certain to be excluded in the short term due to the number of USA coronavirus cases, alongside Russian Federation and Brazil.

The list was backed in principle by most EU ambassadors and does not require unanimous support, but still needs to be formalized in member states' capitals as well as in the central European Union bureaucracy before taking effect July 1.

The UK is still covered by European Union rules until the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned that those planning to leave the country for "non-essential" reasons during the Covid-19 pandemic might be left picking up their isolation or quarantine bill on return.

European Union citizens and their family members are to be exempted from the ban as well as long-term European Union residents and their family members, the statement said.

The United States is now the country most affected by COVID-19 with more than 125,000 deaths while daily infection rates in Europe have stabilised.