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EU Criteria for Third Country tourists to visit this summer

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EU Criteria for Third Country tourists to visit this summer

Old Jun 25th, 2020, 05:57 PM
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EU Criteria for Third Country tourists to visit this summer

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/0...-europe-337376

The NYTimes article from a couple of days ago only referenced new case numbers but the criteria is still being debated in the EU:

The European Commission two weeks ago set out a plan to reopen the bloc’s external borders, stressing that EU member countries “should agree on a common list of non-EU countries for which travel restrictions can be lifted as of 1 July, to be reviewed on a regular basis.”

The criteria to be used — and the countries covered — is the subject of fierce ongoing negotiation.

Diplomats agree one of the main criteria should be an incidence rate close to or below that across the EU, which currently stands at an average of 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

However, a number of capitals are pushing for other data to be taken into account as well. That could include testing rates, the number of patients in intensive care or countries’ preparedness, for example in terms of hospital facilities — as well as the reliability of the data.

“One of the problems is reciprocity,” added one diplomat: namely whether it should play a role in the decision, and if so whether that should count as more relevant than the incidence rate.
China, Vietnam and Australia have low rates of new infections. But it's not clear citizens of those countries can travel this summer. They could be subject to quarantines upon returning from Europe, for instance.

This article alludes to exceptions to a strict numerical criterium. For instance, the UK would not have to have as low or lower new case rate as the EU. Another set of exceptions:

Earlier this month, the Commission explicitly outlined the Western Balkans as a region it wanted to reopen travel to at the earliest possibility. However, the lists show a complicated picture since Albania and Kosovo have a higher infection rate than the EU average. In Serbia and Bosnia, the infection rate is lower, but it is increasing.
After Seriban stars Djokovic and Jokic became infected, there were questions raised about the validity of that country's reported case numbers.

I've also read that Spain wants to include Latin America, where the virus is currently rating.

Doesn't mean Americans should expect to be welcomed there but now there's also mention that they could revise their criteria on July 15 as well.
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Old Jun 25th, 2020, 11:36 PM
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One problem is that unless all the Schengen countries agree on which third countries they allow borders will be closed again, which will mean many Europeans, who are after all the vast majority of tourists to other European countries, will be unable or unwilling to travel.

Djokovic is an idiot. He may be great at tennis but he is an anti-vaxxer who also doesn't belive in the measures taken to help spread the virus. No doubt now he has had it (or so he claims) he will refuse any vaccination required for tournaments on the grounds he must be immune.
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Old Jun 25th, 2020, 11:38 PM
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While the US continues to ban Europeans from travel to their country, I can’t imagine the European Commission agreeing to let Americans back in, never mind the infection rate. Since March of this year travel from Schengen countries plus the UK and Ireland has been stopped by presidential proclamation. Apparently Secretary Pompeo will be addressing this issue with his European counterparts. In the meantime, infection rates in the US seem to be climbing again.
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Old Jun 26th, 2020, 09:02 AM
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Yeah reciprocity is definitely one of the criteria that they're considering.

Here's another article showing the green and red countries.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/06/25/...n-borders-open

If they were going purely by infection rates, assuming reliable data, it's questionable to include North Korea, India, several Central and South American countries and Kosovo and Albania. Serbian data has also raised suspicions because there is apparently an election there and the incumbent may be trying to suppress bad news.

They are suppose to revise the list or criteria every 2 weeks so there could be an update for July 15.
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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 12:46 AM
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Hello all, here is the Sydney Morning Herald's coverage of which countries will make the cut:

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/...27-p556ta.html

Lavandula
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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 02:18 AM
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Swiss news has been reporting that those who are returning from Serbia have been bringing the virus back to Switzerland. We have lots of Serbs living in Switzerland so that's frustrating for all.
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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by lavandula View Post
Hello all, here is the Sydney Morning Herald's coverage of which countries will make the cut:

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/...27-p556ta.html

Lavandula
Doesn't Australia have a quarantine for all returning citizens and permanent residents? So unless they lifted it, it would deter most Australians from traveling to the EU?
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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 09:32 AM
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I can understand measures of incidence or infection (which has to kind of go with testing rates), and perhaps measures of hospitalization and deaths due to COVID. Of course accuracy of data is a problem. I don't comprehend at all the idea of punishing or considering a countries' number of ICU beds or preparedness, which seems to me to be their problem, it doesn't affect what happens when they travel. If a country, for some reason, had a very low incidence rate and then almost stamped it out, what difference would it make if they didn't have as many ICU beds as you think the should have. In fact, it is poor management to have a lot of empty hospital beds or ICU beds that you don't need. Building excess hospital space is a poor capital decision and other patients pay for that excess cost in their bills.

I don't even comprehend why a measure would be based on reciprocity. That doesn't make any sense from a public health viewpoint. If you are a country that has handled it well and with low rates, why would you let tourists from some other country with really bad rates just enter your country because you had some "reciprocity" agreement. What's the point of that, I don't get it. I think I've heard France and UK have one but I don't know why. Sounds like an economic decision, not public health.

I would expect the US would revise its ban on travelers from the EU and UK pretty soon, seems kind of silly they still have one given the behavior and attitudes of many govt officials here and people's behavior in the US. The rates here aren't going down very well at all on a national level, although at least I think the deaths have, which is something. The current CDC rules are kind of based on the situation last Feb-March, seems to me. Of course Brazil is still a disaster.

I don't really blame the EU for still banning Americans, makes sense given the stats.
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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 10:53 AM
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The rates here aren't going down very well at all on a national level
What makes you think rates in the US are going down at all?

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...-us-cases.html
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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 11:12 AM
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They are clearly going UP. And sure, there are fewer deaths. Right now. That's because the most recent wave of the virus has hit younger people. The ones crowding bars and beaches on Memorial Day and since then. Just wait a few weeks until it's shown how many people they've infected, including lots of older people, immunocompromised people, etc. It's an absolute disaster, and even if you ignore the EU's generally and understandably bad rapport with Trump for having dissed them on every occasion possible, the USA isn't going to come close to meeting their stated standards for admission to their countries.
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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 05:17 PM
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Doesn't Australia have a quarantine for all returning citizens and permanent residents? So unless they lifted it, it would deter most Australians from traveling to the EU?

Yes, at the moment there is a 2-week quarantine in a hotel (they
basically commandeered all the big hotels in the city) if you enter the country. There used also to be the 2-week quarantine when people were travelling between states here, which is no longer the case. But in reality people are not travelling internationally, it really only applies to those people who were expatriates or travelling overseas who were trying to get home to Australia for the lockdown. There are very few flights and those that are there are just for emergencies or for essential work purposes. I think the article I linked to is really about reactivation and where Australians will be able to travel to eventually. Currently Australia and New Zealand, where the virus is completely under control, are discussing a 'travel bubble' where they can visit each other. We are not yet ready to open up internationally, we have had a spike in cases in Victoria, but soon I think Australia will start opening up tentatively. I imagine that there will be a core of people who are not deterred by the 2-week quarantine, that's just the price you will have to pay for being intrepid. Me, I am still one of the 'trepid', I will be staying put until it is definitively safe. I have a thread going about a possible trip in 2022, but if it doesn't get off the ground then, then we will just push it back further.

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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 09:15 PM
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Well there are signs of the Europeans slipping, just like the young twenty and thirty somethings partying too much in places like FL, TX and AZ.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...covid-19-surge

Portugal is going to lock down Lisbon from July 1.

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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 10:56 PM
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I don't even comprehend why a measure would be based on reciprocity. That doesn't make any sense from a public health viewpoint.”

You are right, it’s not a public health measure. It’s a common diplomatic technique, and the people in the European Commission who will be making the decision are diplomats. Another term for it is “tit for tat”. What doesn’t make sense is the US banning Europeans from entering when the infection rate is lower where they come from.
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Old Jun 27th, 2020, 10:59 PM
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European airlines are in trouble. So if anything, they' probably want traffic both ways across the Atlantic.

They might not like to risk having their residents bring back the virus. Europeans may not be wanting to go to FL right about now.

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Old Jun 29th, 2020, 09:27 AM
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Due to be confirmed tomorrow:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...om-entering-eu

So Canadians welcome, US not. Review every two weeks.
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Old Jun 29th, 2020, 10:43 AM
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as expected...sure hope China numbers are for real. I guess the Chinese are coming back! Am in US so travel not an option but honestly even if I could go too much risk right now.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 02:40 AM
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From the Guardian article hetismij2 linked to.

<<A key threshold is the EU average infection rate of around 16 per 100,000 inhabitants, with only those countries with comparable or better rates considered for inclusion.>>

The 16 per 100K must be a mistake.

There are parts of Montreal where the rate is over 3K.
For comparison, the rate in New York is 2018.

In my area, which has one of the lowest rates, it is about 300.

https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/covid-19...esclipId104062

Last edited by cdnyul; Jun 30th, 2020 at 02:45 AM.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 07:17 AM
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As expected this has now been confirmed. US residents (amongst many others) are not allowed to travel to the EU+ area.
The situation will be reviewed every two weeks but don't book anything for anytime soon!
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cdnyul View Post
From the Guardian article hetismij2 linked to.

<<A key threshold is the EU average infection rate of around 16 per 100,000 inhabitants, with only those countries with comparable or better rates considered for inclusion.>>

The 16 per 100K must be a mistake.

There are parts of Montreal where the rate is over 3K.
For comparison, the rate in New York is 2018.

In my area, which has one of the lowest rates, it is about 300.

https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/covid-19...esclipId104062

Yeah they're not going strictly by a numeric metric. For one thing, countries don't report cases consistently. Their testing rates per capita are different too.

In any event, there likely won't be too many Canadians flying to Europe, at least not right away, because on return, they will have to quarantine.

Same is true of Australia, NZ and most of the Asian countries.


So they may get a good number of tourists from the Balkans. But some countries like Switzerland are already seeing imported cases from countries like Serbia.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 09:57 AM
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<<Djokovic is an idiot. He may be great at tennis but he is an anti-vaxxer who also doesn't belive in the measures taken to help spread the virus. No doubt now he has had it (or so he claims) he will refuse any vaccination required for tournaments on the grounds he must be immune.>>

I read a piece by Andy Murray about Novak which was pretty damning and he has made himself very unpopular to the extent that I have read calls for him to resign as president of the players' association. But in a way by highlighting the dangers he has done the other players a favour so hopefully they can expect organisers of other tournaments to be more diligent. The Brits tournament that Jamie Murray just organised seemed to go well though seeing the players having to collect the balls themselves was amusing.

I'm not yet clear about the status of Brits wanting to go to the EU this year. I know that a few people have gone - one of my fellow cornish Italian students has a neighbour who is now in Rome but I think they drove. Venice is open to tourists or will be very soon and I should love to go but accounts that I have read of a complete lack of social distancing at UK airports rather discourages me. I'm sure I'd be safe when I got there as they have no cover 19 there now, but I don't want to take it with me or catch it on my way home.

In other and associated news, Easyjet just announced that they are shutting their bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle. They had very few planes based there so it makes sense but I think it is only the beginning.
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