An Air France Airbus A321 airplane takes off at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, France, June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

On Tuesday, the European Union released a list of countries “whose virus levels are deemed low enough to allow people from those places to travel into the bloc” when it begins reopening its external borders. Countries that made the list are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. China will be included if it allows entry from E.U. members in return. The U.S. was not included in the list as confirmed coronavirus cases rose 46% over the past week. Brazil and Russia were also excluded.

It will be up to each E.U. member state to decide the how to manage travelers from approved countries, although the European Council stated that none should unilaterally lift travel restrictions on a “non-listed country.” The travel list will be revisited as frequently as every two weeks. Travel restrictions do not apply to European citizens, workers in industries such as healthcare and farming, or students, asylum seekers, or passengers” traveling for imperative family reasons.”

The United Kingdom will be treated as E.U. member until the end of the year with a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days for those traveling to the country. Ireland is not subject to the E.U. recommendations. The Irish Travel Agents Association has called for “clarity from the government,” due to mixed messages and the impact of the coronavirus on Ireland’s travel sector. Turkey has asked the U.K. to correct the “mistake” of its exclusion from the list of countries deemed as safe for non-essential travel.

Ahead of the travel restrictions announcement on Monday, the Czech Republic granted an exception to Hollywood studios. Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, and Bulgaria have also confirmed that U.S. film and TV crews will be allowed to enter if safety stipulations are followed.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

E.U. Formalizes Reopening, Barring Travelers From U.S. – The New York Times – 6/30/2020
The list of nations that European Union countries have approved includes Australia, Canada and New Zealand, while travelers from China will be permitted if China reciprocates. The plan was drawn up based on health criteria, and European Union officials went to great lengths to appear apolitical in their choices, but the decision to leave the United States off the list — lumping travelers from there in with those from Brazil and Russia — was a high-profile rebuke of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

US kept off European Union ‘safe list’ for resumption of non-essential travel – Fox News – 6/30/2020
The European Union has agreed to keep the U.S. off an initial “safe list” of 14 countries from which it will allow non-essential travel starting in July, according to the European Council.

European Union says it will bar Americans when bloc reopens to international visitors July 1 – USA Today – 6/30/2020
Tuesday’s decree will not apply to travel to Britain, which left the EU in January. Britain now requires all incoming travelers – barring a few exceptions, like truck drivers – to enter a self-imposed 14-day quarantine, although the measure is under review and is likely to ease in the coming weeks. The requirement also applies to U.K. citizens.

EU Bans U.S. Travellers, But May Allow Travel from China – Breitbart – 6/30/2020
Despite being the source of the outbreak, Brussels will also welcome visitors from China, “subject to confirmation of reciprocity” for EU travellers to the communist state. The list will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis. Notably absent from the list was the United States after reports had circulated last week that Americans would be banned from the bloc.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Bette Midler on Twitter, 6/30/2020: NO MORE EIFFEL TOWER FOR YOU!! E.U. Formalizes Reopening, Barring Travelers From U.S.

Steve Benen on Twitter, 6/30/2020: Announcing a pseudo European travel ban in March, Trump mocked the EU and its “failures” to contain the coronavirus as effectively as his administration. A lot can change in three months.

Katty Kay on Twitter, 6/30/2020: Several business people contacting me to say the EU ban on US travelers makes it harder for them to do business in Europe than their competitors in Asia.

Talip Küçükcan on Twitter, 7/1/2020: Travel ban to Turkey by the EU is absolutely irrational, absurd and obviously political driven by implicit streotypes, antagonism, bias, historical memory and rivalry. Turkey did much better than many EU countries in combating #COVID19

Kyle Potter on Twitter, 7/1/2020: In light of the EU travel ban on Americans, it seems Delta has scrubbed its plans to restart flights from New York City (JFK) to Athens (ATH) and Lisbon (LIS) later this month. These flights have been pulled from Delta’s schedules until at least Aug. 1

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