Brussels / European Union member states on Sunday were fine-tuning details for the reopening of borders set to take place on 1 July after countries have been sealed in lockdowns since mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 27 member states are designing a plan to authorize arrivals from 20 non-EU countries which so far includes China, Canada, Australia and Thailand but excludes the United States, which has become the epicenter of the pandemic and with the largest global caseload of 2, 5 million infections and more than 125,000 deaths.
EU Ambassadors on Friday unsuccessfully tried to strike a deal on international travel prompting Croatia, the country that currently holds the EU presidency, to launch a consultation period which closed on Saturday at 6.00 pm.
No consensus had been reached by the end of the deadline meaning consultations continued on Sunday so that the draft agreement can be presented on Monday to seek the approval of member-states.
The situation did not change much during Sunday’s meeting although the plan is expected to get approval on Monday, sources from the Croatian presidency told Efe.
Another diplomatic source said states hoped to have the necessary majority to approve the list of countries that have been given the green light or banned from travel before 1 July.
Citizens of Australia, Algeria, Canada, China, South Korea, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and Rwanda are expected to be included on the list of countries with which EU borders will open.
Travelers from Russia, the most affected country in Europe with more than 627, 000 infections and 9,000 deaths, Brazil, the most affected in Latin America with 1.3 million infections and more than 57,000 deaths and the US will be banned from entering the bloc.
The majority of Latin American countries, which are now considered by the World Health Organization as the global epicenter of the pandemic with 25 percent of the global caseload, will also be blocked from entering.
The aim of the plan is to deploy a synchronized reopening of borders across the bloc and for EU members to lift restrictions on chosen countries simultaneously.
Criteria including “the health situation, the ability to apply containment measures during travel and reciprocity considerations,” were considered.
Brussels thinks that restrictions on travel should be lifted for countries that present a similar situation to the European average in terms of the number and trend of new infections and with regards to the pandemic response, meaning their level of vigilance, testing, contact tracing and publication of data on the progress of the virus.
Discussions on Friday revolved around whether there is enough information to get a real picture of the epidemiological situation in some countries and the need to ensure that such data is reliable.
The EU closed its borders on 16 March for 30 days to contain the spread of Covid-19, a move that has been extended on several occasions.
Border control lies in the hands of national governments, but the EU wants to coordinate the reopening with non-EU states to avoid the chaos that occurred at the start of the pandemic when each State unilaterally closed its borders.
The bloc started reopening internal borders on the 15 June. Europe has managed to flatten the coronavirus curve and the bloc is being cautious to avoid taking on arrivals that could jeopardize this. In 2016, the EU received 500 million visitors from non-member states (most of them visited the south of the continent) who spent 342 billion euros making it the top global tourist destination, according to the World Tourism Organization. (June 28, 2020, EFE/PracticaEspañol)
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por qué las fronteras de la UE se cerraron hace unos meses.
los países que tendrán las fronteras abiertas en la UE.
cuál es el país que la OMS considera actualmente como el epicentro de la pandemia.
las fronteras de la UE seguirán cerradas para todos los países del continente americano.
en ese listado de países seguros no solo hay países de América sino también de África y de Asia.
se desmiente que las fronteras aún vayan a estar cerradas para EE.UU. y Rusia.
España también ha hecho hincapié en la necesidad de que haya una coordinación cuando las restricciones se vayan levantando.
no es cierto que haya aumentado el número de casos de COVID-19 en los países de Latinoamérica.
la situación epidemiológica de un país no tiene nada que ver con la reapertura de una frontera.
las fronteras de la UE serán reabiertas en el mes de julio del año que viene.
es posible que otros países se vayan añadiendo a esa lista si su situación epidemiológica mejora.
González Laya confirma que hubo presiones de EE.UU. a la UE para que fuera incluido en esa lista de países seguros.
No se sabe.
ningún pasajero está manteniendo una distancia de seguridad para evitar contagios.
no hay nadie en el aeropuerto.
los viajeros llevan mascarillas para protegerse del COVID-19.