New EU Restrictions for US Travelers Over Covid Spike

On Monday, the European Union said US travelers should be banned from visiting its member states if not for essential business after a surge in Covid-19 cases in the United States.

The new EU safe list recommends that France, Germany, Italy and 24 other nations reestablish their coronavirus restrictions on banning entries from the US and other five countries.

The guide is non-binding for the European Union’s member states. Therefore, they can decide whether to continue to allow non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travelers.

It applies to Kosovo, Israel, Lebanon, the Republic of North Macedonia, and Montenegro.

Europe began opening up progressively to US travelers in May this year, with tourist-dependent destinations easing strict lockdowns to recoup huge losses caused by the pandemic.

A month later, the European Council recommended the bloc to lift restrictions on non-essential travel from 14 nations, including the US.

However, the North American country has experienced a surge in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

US authorities have reported high numbers of coronavirus cases among children, which haven’t been seen since winter, as the most contagious Delta variant spreads among unvaccinated citizens.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US leading infectious disease expert, said the situation was entirely predictable but preventable, adding that the country has the “wherewithal with vaccines” to reverse it.

“We could turn this around and we could do it efficiently and quickly if we just get those people vaccinated,” he added.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 52% of the US population had been fully vaccinated as of Saturday.

Covid-19 cases in the United States are increasing daily.

On Saturday, Florida logged the country’s highest Covid-19 hospitalization rate, with 75 patients per 100,000 hospital residents diagnosed with the disease, data from federal health officials and Johns Hopkins University said.

State data showed Florida also hit a pandemic peak for infections on Friday after reporting 690.5 new cases per 100,000 people each day from Aug. 20 to Aug. 26.

In South Carolina, Texas, and Louisiana, less than 50% of their people have been fully vaccinated.

Besides having low vaccination rates and facing an increase in cases, several hospitals in the aforementioned states are also struggling with oxygen shortages.

State health officials and hospital consultants said some are at risk of being forced to use their reserve supply or running out of oxygen imminently.