US relaxes overseas travel advice

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After reassessing health risks, Washington decided on Tuesday to ease travel restrictions for nearly 60 countries, including France, Germany and Japan. The question of reopening the US border should be raised when Joe Biden comes to Europe in the near future.

He has heard the voice of Europeans calling for the US borders to be reopened. The United States, Tuesday, June 8, eased its warning for travelers wishing to travel to several countries including France, after reassessing the risks associated with Covid-19.

Several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Spain, are benefiting from this shift ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Europe. As well as Japan, a month and a half away from the Olympics, as well as Canada and Mexico, the two neighbors of the United States.

In all, US diplomacy announced in a statement that nearly 60 countries with a maximum Level 4 warning (“Do not go there”) due to the health crisis have been reduced to Level 3 (“Avoid going there if possible”). . About twenty other states have moved them to Level 2 or 1.

A US State Department official explained to AFP the mitigation came through a “systemic change” in the health risk analysis for travelers carried out by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

In April, the State Department announced that it would classify nearly 80% of the world’s countries as Tier 4, to align its travel guidelines with those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and better take into account epidemic risks.

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Waiting for reciprocity

Does this shift portend a change of foot from Washington on the issue of the US border, closed to non-US and non-residents from the Schengen area, Ireland and the UK since March 2020?

It intervenes in any case when the European Union (EU) decides to allow entry to American travelers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, but asks for reciprocity in the United States.

“We really welcome American tourists from the moment they were vaccinated, from the moment they got the two doses and we waited 15 days. He insisted that we want reciprocity,” said the European Commissioner for Home Affairs. Souk, Thierry Breton, promised today, Monday, to talk about it with the US authorities.

>> To read in France 24: COVID-19: Who can enter and leave French territory from June 9?

Far from the tourists, the closure of the borders, which on the American side also takes care of China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa and India, has caused many personal tragedies, sometimes leading to the separation of thousands of families … for more than a year.

Washington has so far resorted to “science” to justify maintaining this shutdown – especially when the US vaccination campaign was far ahead of European countries’. But recently, vaccination has also accelerated in the European Union, where the number of coronavirus cases has fallen sharply.

And the easing of travel warnings indicates that “science” – in any case its representatives in the US administration – has reduced the risks associated with Covid-19 in the case of travel in many countries, particularly Europeans.

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A question that will be addressed at the G7 and at a European summit

President Biden’s counterparts are expected to raise the issue as he travels to the United Kingdom for the G7 summit and to Brussels to meet with European Union leaders.

The White House emphasized: “We have heard very clearly that our friends in Europe and the United Kingdom want to be able to reopen transatlantic travel, and we want that too. But we must follow the science and recommendations from our public health professionals.” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Monday. “So we are actively discussing with them setting the schedule.”

“The Biden administration understands that as we approach the summit with the European Union, it will have to deal with this file when it was not on the White House agenda, due to European demand for reciprocity and pressure from airlines that want to see transatlantic traffic resume.” Last week, Celia Beilin, a professor of political science at the Brookings Institution in Washington, told AFP, calling on the US president to make a “strong gesture last week” to that effect during his visit to Europe.

with AFP

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