The European Union— and by extension of its membership in the EU, Greece as well, may ban U.S. travelers from entering the country on July 1, according to a report in The New York Times.
The draft lists of acceptable travelers, according to The New York Times report, were shared with the Times by an official involved in the talks and confirmed by another involved official.
Two additional European Union officials confirmed the content of the lists as well the details of the negotiations to shape and finalize them. All of the officials gave the information on condition of anonymity because the issue is politically delicate.
Independently, The Pappas Post has confirmed the said lists with an official at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is involved with the discussions with the rest of the EU leaders. The said individual also requested anonymity due to the sensitivity and incomplete nature of the talks but confirmed that it was unlikely American travelers would be permitted to enter Greece on July 1 when the country officially opens to the entire world.
The Times called the United States restriction “a stinging blow to American prestige in the world” and a “repudiation of President Trump’s handling of the virus in the United States.”
While most of Europe— including hard-hit Italy and Spain— were able to control the virus within their borders with strong national lockdowns and cohesive efforts at managing the pandemic, the United States is experiencing a different reality with more than 2.3 million cases and upward of 120,000 deaths, more than any other country.
More than three-dozen states have reported record infection rates in the past week alone as President Donald Trump has wound down the Coronavirus task force and stopped his daily briefings with updates to Americans.
Prohibiting American travelers from entering the European Union— and Greece— would have significant economic, cultural and geopolitical ramifications.
Millions of Greek American tourists visit Greece every summer for family reasons and to reconnect with the nation of their ancestry.
Many Greek Americans also have business relationships in Greece and business travel is common.
Featured image / Socrates Baltagiannis, picture alliance via Getty Images
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