The EU has removed the US from its Covid safe list for non-essential travel, further dampening hopes for the opening of a transatlantic corridor.

“Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and the United States of America were removed from the list,” a statement from the European Council said.

This move to halt non-essential travel from the US follows a rise in Covid numbers in the country – its seven-day infection rate is now 337 per 100,000 people; the UK’s is 331, for comparison. Meanwhile, travellers who have been in the UK or the EU in the 14 days before arrival are still banned from entering the US. 

Tori Emerson Barnes, US Travel Association executive vice president of public affairs and policy, told trade publication Travel Weekly that the EU’s advice was a “disappointing development following the boost in inbound visitation by vaccinated travellers that many EU countries experienced this summer”. 

He added: “We encourage the EU to remain open to vaccinated Americans, and likewise urge the United States to take immediate steps to begin welcoming vaccinated individuals and restoring our travel economy.”

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