EU Opens Travel To 15 Nations But Not U.S., In A Setback For Film, TV Production

The Council of the European Union has kept restrictions on travel from the U.S. in place even as it lifts them for 15 other countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and China starting tomorrow, July 1.

U.S. film and televison producers have been monitoring the situation closely as some are eyeing Europe, including EU member nations, as a place to restart production. The restrictions are non legally binding on member countries, however, and the list will be reviewed every two weeks.

The decision, for non-essential travel, is based on the “epidemiological situation and containment measures in each country,” the EU said in a communique Tuesday morning. The U.S. is currently experiencing a surge in new infections.

“The Council today adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU. Travel restrictions should be lifted for countries listed in the recommendation, with this list being reviewed and, as the case may be, updated every two weeks,” according to an EU communique Tuesday morning. The other third countries where restrictions were lifted include Algeria, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

While not legall binding, the EU urged members “not to decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.”

The EU said third countries listed should meet the following criteria:

-The number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on 15 June 2020)

-A stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days

-An overall response to COVID-19 including testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information.

For countries where travel restrictions continue to apply, the following categories are exempted: EU citizens and their family members; long-term EU residents and their family members; travelers with an essential function or need.

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