The prolonged US travel ban on the EU and lack of reciprocity have pushed the European Commission Vice President, Margaritis Schinas, to cancel his trip to the US.
Schinas revealed the reason behind his trip’s cancellation during a conference of the European Forum Alpbach held in Austria on Wednesday, saying the US entry ban on travellers from the Schengen Area makes no sense, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“I cancelled my planned trip to the USA next week because I do not find the lack of reciprocity on travel rules fair. Nor does it make sense — Europe is the most vaccinated continent in the world,” Commissioner Schinas said.
“We certainly understand that and relate to that, and know that people are eager to be reunited with loved ones -and that is something that’s impacting many people around the world,” Psaki said for CNN.
On the other hand, the US government had previously stated that the travel ban would end soon or that tasks forces were working on a mutual agreement with the European Union, but such a thing hasn’t happened in the last 533 days.
In response, the EU ambassador, Stavros Lambrinidis, noted that these restrictions would seriously damage the US-EU economic and human ties, especially amid a pandemic, when they are the most needed.
The French ambassador, Philippe Etienne, agreed with his counterpart, whereas the Irish ambassador, Daniel Mulhall, said the travel ban on the fully vaccinated Europeans is harming the transatlantic relations on so many levels.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the uptake for European nationals being vaccinated a shot against Coronavirus is 76.6 per cent, whereas 68.7 per cent of the Europeans are immunised against the virus, accounting for over 255 million full vaccinations.
The American government had imposed a travel ban on European countries since March 2020, when former president Donald Trump ordered the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, several but the latest relaxation was witnessed in June when the EU added the country to its list of epidemiologically safe countries.
However, following the increase in infection rates for COVID-19 detected in the US, the European Union decided this week to remove the country from its epidemiologically safe countries, meaning that more strict measures would apply to US travellers.
The international health authority, World Health Organisation (WHO), indicates that 744 deaths and 120,560 infections were reported in the US during the last 24 hours. In conclusion, 634,320 deaths and 38,923,013 infections were detected in the country, with over 300 million inhabitants since January 2020.