EU Commissioner cancels his trip to US due to extended travel restrictions
The European Commission Vice President, Margaritis Schinas, has cancelled his trip to the US due to its extended travel restriction on the EU and the lack of reciprocity.
Schinas announced the reason for his trip’s cancellation during a European Forum Alpbach conference in Austria on Wednesday, stating the US entry ban on Schengen Area travelers makes no sense.
“I cancelled my planned trip to the USA next week because I do not find the lack of reciprocity on travel rules fair. Nor does it make sense — Europe is the most vaccinated continent in the world,” Commissioner Schinas said.
“We certainly understand that and relate to that, and know that people are eager to be reunited with loved ones -and that is something that’s impacting many people around the world,” Psaki said.
The US government, on the other hand, has previously indicated that the travel restriction will be lifted shortly or that task forces were working on a mutual accord with the EU, but nothing has happened in the last 533 days.
In reaction, Stavros Lambrinidis, the EU ambassador, stated that these restrictions would severely harm US-EU economic and human relations, particularly during a pandemic, when they are most needed.
The French ambassador, Philippe Etienne, agreed with his counterpart, while the Irish ambassador, Daniel Mulhall, stated that the travel ban on fully vaccinated Europeans is damaging transatlantic relations on a number of levels.
Since March 2020, when former President Donald Trump announced the restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the US government has enforced a travel ban on European countries.
Several relaxations have occurred since then, the most recent of which occurred in June when the EU added the country to its list of epidemiologically safe countries.
However, following the increase in COVID-19 infection rates in the United States, the European Union agreed this week to eliminate the country from its list of epidemiologically safe countries, signaling that US travelers will face more stringent measures.
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