By Laurence Norman
European Union member states have drawn up a list of 15 countries whose citizens may be allowed to travel again to the bloc starting July 1 that excludes the U.S. but includes Canada, Japan and possibly China, diplomats said.
A final decision is yet to be taken on the list, but diplomats said they were reasonably confident it would be approved unchanged. Member states have been asked to approve it by Saturday evening.
Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Georgia, Uruguay, Morroco, Tunisia, Algeria, Serbia, Montenegro, Rwanda and Thailand are on the list, as is China based on travel reciprocity. Russia joins the U.S. among countries currently deemed too great a risk to European public health.
The EU has had a broad travel ban in place since mid-March when the bloc closed its external borders to all nonessential travel to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, which has caused tens of thousands of deaths in the region and led to the shutdown of many economies.
Two weeks ago, with the health situation much improved, most member states agreed to open their borders to each other by June 15, and the European Commission proposed allowing travelers from outside the region to start coming to the bloc starting July 1.
The move was intended in part to boost hard-hit economies by allowing people to come to Europe for the summer tourist season.
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