BRUSSELS — The European Union will reopen its borders to travelers from 14 countries, and possibly China soon, the bloc announced Tuesday, but most Americans have been refused entry for at least another two weeks due to soaring coronavirus infections in the U.S.
As Europe’s economies reel from the impact of the coronavirus, southern EU countries like Greece, Italy and Spain are desperate to entice back sun-loving visitors and breathe life into their damaged tourism industries. U.S. tourists make up a big slice of the EU market and the summer holiday season is a key time.
Citizens from the following countries will be allowed into the EU’s 27 members and four other nations in Europe’s visa-free Schengen travel zone: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
The EU said China is “subject to confirmation of reciprocity,” meaning Beijing should lift all restrictions on European citizens entering China before European countries will allow Chinese citizens back in.
The 31 European countries have agreed to begin lifting restrictions today. The list is to be updated every 14 days, with new countries being added or dropped off depending on whether they are keeping the pandemic under control.