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Homeland Security

EU Lifts Travel Restrictions on 14 Nations - US Not Included

By VOA News June 30, 2020

The European Union has lifted COVID-19 related travel restrictions on visitors from 14 nations, but its list excludes American travelers.

People from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay will be able to enter 31 European countries, a statement issued Tuesday said.

But travelers from nations where COVID-19 cases have been surging, including the U.S., Brazil and India, may not enter at this time.

Chinese citizens will be able to enter the bloc, as long as China removes restrictions on European citizens traveling there. Other countries on the list are expected to end any of their own travel bans on Europeans.

Countries will be added or even dropped from the list every two weeks, according to their respective COVID-19 outbreaks, but it's unlikely the United States will land a spot for a while.

The EU's criteria stipulate that countries' new case numbers in the last 14 days be close to or under its own average and that case numbers as a whole be stabilizing or dropping.

The U.S. is currently the epicenter of the global pandemic, with nearly 2.7 million confirmed cases and almost 130,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That's close to double the number of total cases in Brazil, the next worst-affected country. The number of new cases daily in the U.S. has shot up since states began reopening in June.

NBA resumes play

Meanwhile, a month before the National Basketball Association is set to resume its novel coronavirus-shortened season, two key members of the league's Brooklyn Nets franchise tested positive for the disease caused by the virus.

The team said DeAndre Jordan and Spencer Dinwiddie tested positive for COVID-19 since returning to the New York City borough last week for workouts at the team's practice facility.

Jordan issued a statement on Twitter confirming his diagnosis and saying he would not join the team when the NBA resumes the regular season at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida on July 30. Dinwiddie said on Twitter that he is still planning to be with the Nets in Orlando, but acknowledges that he is "one of the cases that has various symptoms."

Jordan and Dinwiddie are the latest NBA players to test positive for COVID-19 since members of the 22 teams who are in contention for the playoffs began reporting for workouts. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced last Friday that 16 of 302 NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19 since reporting back to their practice facilities. Four Nets players tested positive back in March in the early days of the outbreak, including All-Star Kevin Durant, who has been sidelined all season with a foot injury.

Florida is one of dozens of states who have experienced a dramatic surge of new COVID-19 infections in the U.S. Many states have slowed or halted plans to reopen their economies to normal activity, including closing beaches and bars and cancelling plans to resume indoor dining at restaurants.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, a leading infectious disease expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday the novel coronavirus is spreading too fast and across too many places in the U.S. to bring it under control.

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