Ambassadors have agreed to add eight countries, including the US, to the European Union’s ‘white list’ of countries from where it accepts non-essential travel – but the UK has been left off.
The US, along with Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong will be added to the list, according to various reports from reporters in Brussels.
They will join Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China, which have already been added to the ‘white list’.
Reports say the UK’s level of cases per 100,000 people, and the exponential growth of infection by the Delta variant were behind the UK’s exclusion.
“There are serious concerns about Delta and surge of numbers,” an EU diplomat told the Guardian.
The EU’s ‘white list’ is to be reviewed every two weeks. Member states are entitled to decide on their own entry requirements for arrivals, which could include Covid testing and or quarantine.
Martin Ferguson, vice president of public affairs at American Express Global Business Travel, said: “The news emerging from across Europe is very positive for the countries involved. Whether it’s Portugal, France or Germany opening borders to US travellers with proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test, it makes total sense. The UK needs to get on board now. Enough dilly dally. Let’s exercise common sense and get people moving safely.”