MIAMI – As EU countries begin reviving their economies and reopen borders to tourism travel, some of the remaining restrictions may end up barring US citizens from entering the union.
according to The New York Times, EU nations cite the failure of the US to contain the virus and would add the nation to a list of countries whose citizens are unwelcome in the European region, including Brazil and Russia.
EU nations are deciding between a few lists of allowed visitors based on how those countries are handling the pandemic. China, where the virus was discovered, is on these lists. The final decisions are expected early next week, before July 1.
If the US ends up in the final list, it would be a huge blow to the reputation of US President Donald Trump, who has been widely criticized for his handling of the pandemic.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander
Prohibition of Americans into Europe is a reminder of March when POTUS suddenly said he was banning citizens traveling from 26 European nations into the US as part of a contingency plan to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
The ban applied to non-Americans who had been in the Schengen border-free travel area within 14 days of traveling to the US.
POTUS called the move necessary to protect American lives when the US had approximately 1,100 cases and 38 deaths. Now the barring of US citizens could be coming from across the pond, now that the US is the world leader in COVID-19 cases.
As early as late May, Trump said Europe was “making progress” and flirted with the idea of lifting restrictions, but no action has been taken. The pandemic has slowed rapidly in Europe since then.
US Struggles with COVID-19
The US currently has more than 2.3 million confirmed cases and over 120,000 deaths, more than any other country.
Critics say POTUS was far too passive with his early rhetoric to combat COVID-19, and now that has backfired on him. In February, he was quoted saying “Looks by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”
Trump’s path to combat the virus has been compared to those of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. These leaders were dismissive and passive, and slow to follow CDC and WHO advice. These countries are now seeing a boom in cases.
This spike in cases in the US comes as many states begin to reopen, allowing restaurants to seat 50% capacity, as other businesses like gyms, parks, and even some children’s summer camps attempt to reopen.
This surge was predicted by experts, but the US reported record numbers in newly reported cases per day recently. Trump said during a campaign rally where several staff members tested positive for the virus, “When you do testing to that extent, you’re gonna find more people; you’re gonna find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down, please.”
This bad news for Americans could not come at a worse time for the President. Currently, former Vice President Joe Biden leads Trump by 14% according to CNN, and 12% according to Fox News, in the 2020 US Presidential election.
On top of the criticism for his handling of the pandemic, the death of George Floyd at the hands of police sparked nationwide outrage and protests demanding revision of the police system in the US.
As such, minorities feel better represented by Biden, who was VP to President Barack Obama.
As America follows the rest of the globe into reopening, Trump’s handling of the pandemic will be under further scrutiny from the world.
International travel in the EU
Countries in Europe are eager to restart their economies and airlines. American tourists were a huge part of that economy, and without it, Europe will still suffer partially. Millions of Americans visit each summer, and the US and EU are huge economic allies.
Once a final list of allowed countries is finalized, it will be presented next week, in time before July 1. Members of the EU cannot be forced to adopt it, but officials warn that if any of the countries fails to stick to it, the reintroduction of borders lockdowns within the EU is a possibility.
The list will change every two weeks depending on whether countries are managing the virus well or not, and if the numbers of cases are going down.
Alas, a European vacation will not be a possibility for US citizens if case numbers do not turn around quickly in their home country.