Secretary of State says US borders will remain closed for EU citizens

Jun 25, 2021

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As EU nations continue to reopen their borders to Americans — Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany and Austria this week alone — the U.S. will refrain from doing the same, at least for now.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said offering reciprocity in lifting travel restrictions currently imposed on EU citizens since March 11, 2020, would be “premature,” as reported by Reuters at a news conference in Paris.

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“We are anxious to be able to restore travel as fully and quickly as possible. I can’t put a date on it, we have to be guided by the science, by medical expertise,” said Blinken, who is in the French capital this week to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“Throughout this crisis, U.S. airlines have leaned into science and research to prioritize the health and safety of all travelers. U.S. airlines have been – and continue to be – strong advocates for the development of a risk-based, data-driven roadmap for resuming international travel,” said Katherine Estep, a spokesperson for Airlines for America, an airlines industry group. “We continue to urge the federal government to adopt a reciprocal policy backed by science that allows travelers who are fully vaccinated, or who have presented a negative Covid-19 test, to travel to the U.S. The science is there and it is time – if not past time – to take action.”

As of today, nearly 66% of American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 data tracker.

“France is America’s oldest friend and Ally. Our relationship is built upon our shared commitment to the same values – democracy, human rights, the rule of law, security, and prosperity,” Blinken said in a press statement on June 24. “The closeness of our military, economic, and political cooperation form the basis of our enduring partnership.”

Related: Country-by-country guide to reopenings

Featured photo of travelers in New York-JFK by Angela Weiss/AFP. 

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