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American tourists are to be barred from the EU. Here's why

1 week ago 1

(CNN)US tourists will be excluded from visiting the European Union after the bloc finalized its list of 15 safe countries for travel to member states on Tuesday.

The EU has published a list of recommendations for which nationalities should be allowed to enter its borders -- and the US is not included.

And while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stressed the "importance" of reconnecting the US and EU during the coronavirus pandemic, one graphic shows exactly why European countries are shutting Americans out.

The two curves clearly show the EU and US heading in opposite directions in dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak. New confirmed daily cases in the EU peaked around mid-March and are on a clear downward trend, with cases below 10,000 for more than a month. In the US, new cases are on a steep upward trajectory.

Many European countries went into a strict lockdown early, and EU nations have been reopening gradually and cautiously as their cases numbers decline.

Health experts have repeatedly warned that some states in the US were reopening far too soon, while some administration officials said US President Donald Trump and his aides were "in denial" about the seriousness of the pandemic.

More than a dozen states have now paused or rolled back their reopening plans as the US sees a surge in coronavirus cases.

The US has recorded more cases and deaths than anywhere in the world, at almost 2.6 million cases and more than 126,000 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. Brazil, Russia and India -- the three nations with the highest numbers of cases after the US -- have also been excluded from the EU's list of safe countries.

The decision is based on whether a country has a similar or better epidemiological situation than Europe, as well as comparable hygiene and containment measures.

The EU has recommended that member states offer entry to China, where the virus originated, on the condition of reciprocal arrangements. The other 14 countries are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.

Data for the US shows that new cases in at least 36 states are trending upwards compared to the previous week. State and local leaders have said the rise in cases is in part driven by gatherings at homes and in meeting places such as bars.

EU preparing to reopen its borders -- but probably not to Americans

In Texas and parts of California, bars were directed to close back down, while beaches in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach were ordered off-limits to the public during the upcoming holiday weekend. In Florida, on-premises alcohol consumption was suspended in bars statewide and in Arizona, many businesses are shutting for at least 30 days.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday the state will decide later this week on whether to slow the reopening of indoor dining in New York City as it has "been shown to pose risks in other states."

While Europe appears to be through the worst of it -- at least for now -- there have been some localized spikes in cases. In Germany, authorities were forced to quarantine 360,000 people this week after an outbreak in a meat plant in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia.

Schools and stores in the city of Leicester in the UK -- a country transitioning out of the EU -- are to close again as some coronavirus restrictions are reimposed because its infection rate is three times higher than the next highest local area.

Despite these resurgences, the EU is in a position to gradually allow for the reopening of its borders to other countries.

But for now, the US simply does not meet the criteria.

CNN's Christina Maxouris contributed reporting.

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