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EU Recommends Return of COVID Travel Restrictions on US Tourists


FILE - Passengers walk in a terminal at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Aug. 27, 2020.
FILE - Passengers walk in a terminal at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Aug. 27, 2020.

The European Union removed the United States from a safe travel list Monday and recommended the reinstatement of COVID-19 restrictions on unvaccinated visitors from the U.S., where new cases and hospitalizations have risen sharply in recent weeks.

The non-binding recommendation regarding non-essential travel comes two months after the EU lifted most of the restrictions for U.S. tourists, even though the U.S. has remained closed to European travelers.

The threshold for being on the EU "safe list" is an infection rate of no higher than 75 new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous 14 days. The latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a rate of more than 300 new cases per 100,000 people.

Last week, new cases per day averaged more than 150,000, a number reminiscent of the peak months of January and February of this year. COVID-19-related hospitalizations have also risen to around 100,000, a number not seen since early February. COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus.

Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia have also been removed from the list.

The EU lists 17 countries as safe, including Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.

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