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The European Union is set to consider new Covid-19 travel restrictions on US travelers as US cases soar. The US growth rate hit 507 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the first two weeks of August. The EU’s own guidelines set a limit of 75 per 100,000. The EU guidelines also require that the trend of new infections in a country must be stable or decreasing.

Whether the EU will re-impose restrictions isn’t clear. Tourism is vitally important to the economy of several EU member states. The airlines lobbying group, Airlines for Europe, issued a statement Wednesday stating, “Such a decision would be hugely disappointing for Europe’s airlines, not to mention our tourism sector, which has benefited greatly from the influx of American travelers since restrictions were removed in June.”

Removing the US would require a majority vote. However, the EU’s recommendation is not binding on individual nations. Each member state must make its own decision. Croatia has announced it will vote against the resolution.

EU officials will discuss how to proceed this Thursday.

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Abercrombie Kent

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