EU to remain closed to US travelers as borders open

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BRUSSELS – Americans will not have the right to enter the European Union for non-essential travel even as the bloc begins to open to 15 countries from Wednesday, the EU said.

Tuesday’s decision comes after days of feuds between bloc member states, which were divided over the economic benefits of opening ahead of the summer tourist season amid concerns over a second wave of coronavirus.

With most European citizens banned from the United States and the health situation deteriorating, it did not seem likely that American citizens were among the first group of people allowed to come to the block.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that officials on both sides of the Atlantic were discussing the situation and acknowledged that decisions on reinstating international travel posed difficult challenges for all governments. Diplomats involved in talks with the EU said there had been no real pressure within the bloc in recent days to make an exception for the United States

The EU in mid-March imposed a travel ban on non-essential travel from outside the bloc as the region has become a center of the pandemic and many member states have closed their borders. Most internal borders were lifted on June 15 and the bloc said it would start opening up to non-EU countries from Wednesday.

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