EU TO OPEN BORDERS TO VISITORS FROM 14 COUNTRIES
Citizens of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria on list of those safe to travel
Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia are among 14 countries whose citizens the EU believes to be safe enough from the coronavirus to allow in from today, but the UAE, the US and China are not on the list unveiled yesterday.
Brazil, India and Russia also did not to make the list because of their high number of Covid-19 cases.
Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay made the cut.
The EU said China is “subject to confirmation of reciprocity”, meaning it must lift all restrictions on European citizens entering China before it will allow Chinese citizens back in.
The safe countries will have to lift any bans they might have on European travellers and the list will be updated every 14 days.
Some southern EU countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain are desperate to attract tourists for the summer season to kickstart their ailing economies, but splits reportedly exist over keeping a balance between economic growth and maintaining control of Covid-19.
More than 15 million Americans are estimated to travel to Europe each year but cases continue to rise in the world’s worst-affected country, which has more than 129,000 deaths.
European countries have slowly begun to emerge from months of lockdown, although localised outbreaks have been reported in parts of Germany and the UK.
The UAE recorded 421 new coronavirus cases yesterday, bringing the total to 48,667.
Officials said a further 490 people had recovered from the virus, taking that total to 37,566. One patient died, pushing the death toll in the Emirates to 315.
Authorities revealed an additional 63,000 tests had been carried out as part of the UAE’s mass screening strategy – the highest daily number of tests to date.
About 3.5 million tests have been conducted in the Emirates since the outbreak began.
Fifty more people died from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours in Saudi Arabia as the health ministry cautioned against expecting the scorching summer heat to curb the spread of the pandemic in the kingdom.
Health ministry spokesman Mohammed Al Abdulaali said in Riyadh that rising temperatures will have little effect on transmission because of the widespread use of air conditioning.
“Most of us will be in controlled environments different to the high temperatures that could affect the activity or survival of the virus,” said Mr Al Abdulaali, who is a physician.
He said transmission will continue to depend on whether people “cover their mouth and nose, perform handshakes, or mix directly with each other”.
“Continuous caution is required regardless of the season,” Mr Al Abdulaali said.
Data released by the ministry also showed 4,387 more infections, 40 per cent of which were registered in the eastern urban centres of Al Hofuf, Al Mubarraz and Dammam.
As of yesterday, 1,649 people had died in the kingdom from the coronavirus, according to official data, with 190,823 reported infections.