Updated Jun 26, 2020 - World

EU prepares to ban American travelers as borders reopen on July 1

Macron, Trump and Merkel
French President Macron (L), Trump and German Chancellor Merkel. Photo: Christian Hartmann/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union is preparing to ban American travelers from entering the bloc when it reopens its borders to the outside world starting July 1, labeling the U.S. along with Russia and Brazil for their failure to stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's an international rebuke of the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic. Millions of American tourists travel to the EU every summer, but that's unlikely to happen until the U.S. gets the virus under control.

  • Travelers around the world have been banned from traveling to the EU since mid-March, but countries have been starting to lift travel restrictions to fellow member states within the bloc over the past few weeks.
  • The final decision on which countries will be excluded from the EU's list of admissible travelers is expected early next week, before the bloc reopens on July 1.

What's new: The full list of countries designated as safe for tourism was finalized on Friday, per the Times, and includes Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand, Rwanda and the Vatican, per the Times.

Between the lines: Member states are considering two potential lists of acceptable travelers, depending on how their countries are faring during the pandemic, according to the Times.

  • Both lists reportedly include China, as well as developing nations like Uganda, Cuba and Vietnam.

The big picture: Trump infuriated European leaders when he suddenly announced a ban on most EU citizens traveling to the U.S. in mid-March, when Italy, Spain and others were struggling to handle their outbreaks.

  • Today, Europe has mostly curbed the spread of the virus and emerged from lockdown, while new cases in the U.S. are continuing to grow.
  • The U.S. has so far reported more than 2.3 million cases and seen more than 120,000 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
EU vs US coronavirus graph
Screenshot: NBC's "Meet the Press"

Go deeper: U.S. coronavirus cases are increasing, but deaths aren't — yet

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the full list of countries designated as safe for tourism.

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