The European Union has decided to reimpose restrictions on non-essential travel to its territory from five countries, as part of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recommendation published on Monday. These include the United States and Israel.
However, member states retain the possibility of lifting these restrictions for this type of travel for fully vaccinated people, the statement said.
The five countries removed from the list for which the EU recommends lifting restrictions on non-essential travel are, in addition to the United States and Israel, Lebanon, North Macedonia and Montenegro. Kosovo is also removed from this list which is regularly updated.
The Delta variant has caused contamination to rise again in the United States as well as in Israel, which was one of the first countries to launch a vast campaign of vaccinations.
The US borders remain closed for the moment to international travelers, whether tested or vaccinated.
“A step back”
But the White House, which has been saying for weeks studying the conditions for reopening these borders, for the first time on Monday hinted at the conditions that the United States could pose to foreign travelers, including Europeans.
“Federal government agencies continue to work to develop a consistent and secure procedure for international travel, which includes Europe,” Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the Biden administration, said Monday during a briefing. hurry.
“This will involve strengthening efforts to protect US citizens, including potentially tightening testing procedures for international travel, and it may also mean that in due course foreign nationals coming to the United States are fully immunized.” , she clarified.
The airline lobby in the United States has castigated the Brussels decision. “The European Union’s recommendations are a step backwards and have clearly disappointed American airlines who have worked diligently to resume transatlantic service safely,” Airlines for America said.
“With the reopening of the EU, Americans hastened to buy tickets, pack their bags and find their loved ones they had not seen for nearly two years,” continues the lobby.
Immunization target soon reached
The list of third countries for which the EU recommends lifting travel restrictions currently includes 17 countries plus China (subject to reciprocity) as well as the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao and the territory of Taiwan.
The EU is expected to announce in the coming days that it has achieved its goal of a complete vaccination of 70% of its adult population, marked however by disparities between its member states.