EU TO OPEN BOR­DERS TO VIS­I­TORS FROM 14 COUN­TRIES

Cit­i­zens of Tu­nisia, Morocco and Al­ge­ria on list of those safe to travel

The National - News - - FRONT PAGE - JAMIE PRENTIS

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.

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