The European Union moved closer to recommending that travelers from the U.S. shouldn’t be allowed to enter the bloc after July 1, according to a draft list being considered by officials.

Diplomats have mostly agreed on 18 countries, including Canada, Japan and South Korea, that should be allowed into the EU because their level of new Covid-19 cases meets the bloc’s criteria, according to a list seen by Bloomberg.

China is among those countries that could still gain entry, although debate is ongoing as to whether it will ultimately make the cut, according to the draft. The EU’s recommendations aren’t binding and it’s not clear if the officials will make a final decision on Friday, or continue discussions next week, according to an official with knowledge of the talks.

This decision, painstakingly taken, has massive geopolitical implications since President Donald Trump could take it as a personal rebuke of his record managing the U.S’s checkered response to the pandemic. Transatlantic relations have taken a series of hits, from trade to foreign policy. European diplomats are braced for Trump to take unkindly to Americans being kept away, while the Chinese are allowed in along with a rogue nation like Venezuela.

Friday Meeting
The officials are trying to determine the criteria for allowing non-essential travelers back into the EU as the coronavirus crisis subsides on the continent and governments start easing border controls. Nations are trying to revive domestic economies as the summer tourist season gets underway while guarding against a second wave of infections.

The initial restrictions were introduced in mid-March for 30 days and extended three times through June as Europe battled to contain the pandemic. Once a list is agreed upon it will likely be updated every two weeks, said the official, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

One of the agreed criteria includes “reciprocity,” which would mean U.S. citizens wouldn’t immediately be allowed into the EU because Europeans are still barred for health reasons from traveling in the other direction. It’s likely that this factor will be combined with other metrics, including the rate of new Covid-19 cases, when deciding whom to bar, according to another internal document seen by Bloomberg.

Under one proposed criterion, travelers would only be allowed from countries with a comparable or better epidemiological situation than the average in the EU.

EU-U.S. Talks
The EU has been facing a technical test in determining which foreigners should be allowed to travel to the bloc as of July 1 because the coronavirus outbreaks are in flux in numerous countries including the U.S. Differences of opinion among the bloc’s governments over how to reopen external borders caused delays in the decision, with some countries insisting that reciprocity is more important than the number of cases.

Earlier this week, Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, told Congress he was seeing a “disturbing surge” in new cases. Florida reported 122,960 Covid-19 cases on Friday, up 7.8% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.1% in the previous seven days. The one-day increase of 8,942 was the most ever.

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