European Union countries eager to revive their economies are prepared to bar entry to Americans because the United States has failed to control the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Times reported from Brussels on Tuesday, citing draft lists of acceptable travelers.
The United States, which has the most coronavirus cases in the world and is experiencing a surge in new infections, would be in the same category as No.2 hotspot Brazil and Russia, according to the Times, citing the proposal.
There was no immediate comment from the White House.
An EU diplomat said the bloc's executive Commission had proposed three criteria for allowing in passengers from third countries, including the epidemiological situation of that country, but EU member countries would have to determine what the relevant measurements and thresholds should be.
"There's no list (of countries), just a list of criteria," another EU diplomat told Reuters.
The second diplomat said member states were considering using a country's rate of infection per 100,000 people to decide whether to allow in passengers, but had not yet agreed at what threshold to set this criteria. The threshold would also need to account for factors influencing the reliability of this data, such as a country's Covid-19 testing capacity.
Earlier this month, the European Commission recommended that the bloc gradually reopen its borders to non-EU travellers from July and use three criteria to decide which countries to allow visitors from: countries should have Covid-19 under at least as much control as the EU average, have containment measures during travel, and be willing to let in EU visitors.
EU states will discuss the criteria on Wednesday, although there is no guarantee that a decision will be reached then.
In March, when cases were rising in Europe, Trump banned most EU citizens from entering the United States in a bid to curb the outbreak there, angering EU officials.