Coronavirus: EU excludes US from list of 14 countries safe for non-essential travel

The United States has been excluded from the European Union's list of 14 countries now considered safe for non-essential travel.

Residents of the 27 EU member states will be able to travel to any of the 14 countries for leisure or business purposes from tomorrow and will not have to self-isolate on arrival, the EU Council said in a statement.

The countries are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

The US, Russia, Brazil and Turkey have not been included because their coronavirus infection rates are deemed worse than the EU average.

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They will have to wait another two weeks until the bloc reviews the situation and considers whether they have contained COVID-19 infections.

Some US states have gone back into lockdown after cases spiralled in certain areas.

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    China has been provisionally approved by the EU, but Beijing officials would have to agree to welcome European visitors - as reciprocity is a condition of the list.

    The move is aimed at giving EU tourism a boost, particularly in southern European countries such as Italy that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

    However, the list only acts as a recommendation for member states, which means they could still impose their own restrictions on travellers from the "safe" countries.

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    And the bloc's efforts to reopen internal borders, particularly among the 26-nation Schengen area which normally has no frontier checks, have been patchy as various countries have restricted access for certain visitors.

    British tourists can travel to France and Spain without having to quarantine for 14 days at either end of their trip, it was announced last week.

    Greece was also originally due to be included, but Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis yesterday said UK visitors would have to wait at least another two weeks before they are allowed in.

    Greek officials are making visitors from most EU countries undergo tests on arrival, ordering people to self-isolate until they get a negative result.

    The Czech Republic is not allowing tourists from Portugal and Sweden, with Greece also continuing to ban Swedish visitors.

    Most non-essential travellers to Britain are currently required to self-isolate when they arrive.