It is possible that travelers from the United States will not be admitted to Iceland when the European Union opens its external borders on July 1st. The reason for this is how badly the US has handled curbing the spread of COVID-19.
According to an article posted in the New York Times, European Union officials are “racing to agree on who can visit the bloc as of July 1 based on how countries of origin are faring with new coronavirus cases.” This matter is still under discussion, and the final decision is yet unclear.
While nations across the European Union are eager to revive their economies after several months of restrictions have choked the life out of them, these nations are prepared to block travelers from a number of countries from crossing their borders because of the way they have handled the pandemic. The United States, Russia, and Brazil are at the top of this list of potentially precluded countries, although China, Cuba, Uganda and Vietnam are also in consideration.
The decision to bar these countries from entering would have far-reaching consequences on both the European economy and the United States’ position globally. However, it is worth noting that this decision is not yet final, and will be reevaluated when the time comes to open the borders.
Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna previously expressed wishes to open Iceland’s borders entirely on July 1st, regardless of whether other countries in the Schengen region do the same, saying, “I’ve sent a letter to the directorship of the EU, to determine the process we could take given our special position as an island, that we could maintain surveillance for the Schengen Area even though we let people in, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”
Travelers from the United States have not been allowed to travel to Europe since mid-March, barring exceptional circumstances, as have other nations outside the Schengen region. US President Donald Trump banned citizens of the European Union from entering the United States in an effort to curb the virus. At that time, there were roughly 1,100 cases diagnosed in the US. As of this writing, they are over 2.3 million.
As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.
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