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EU set to recommend reinstating restrictions on US travelers

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union plans to recommend that its member states reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infection levels in the country, EU diplomats said Monday.

A decision to remove the U.S. from a safe list of countries for nonessential travel would reverse advice from June, when the 27-nation bloc recommended lifting restrictions on U.S. travelers before the summer tourism season.

The guidance could come as early as this week, according to the EU diplomats. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the review process was still ongoing.

Any decision would be nonbinding, however. The EU has no unified COVID-19 tourism policy and national governments have the authority to decide whether they keep their borders open to U.S. tourists.

The European Council updates the list based on criteria relating to coronavirus infection levels. It gets reviewed every two weeks.

The threshold for being on the EU list is having not more than 75 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days. Coronavirus cases have surged in the U.S. in recent weeks, running at more than 1,100 a day, the highest level since mid-March.

Last week, new cases per day averaged over 152,000, turning the clock back to the end of January, and the number of people in the hospital with the coronavirus was around 85,000, a number not seen since early February.

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