US Travel Association critical of European ban
The United States Travel Association has reacted angrily to suggestions American holidaymakers will be barred from Europe as the region reopens to tourism.
Reports indicate the European Union is ready to ban most travellers from the United States, Russia and dozens of other countries considered too risky in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Officials have also deemed a number of countries safe to travel.
These include Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican.
The news comes as the US continues to struggle to coordinate its response to the outbreak.
America has had more than 2.5 million infections - the highest number of confirmed cases in the world.
The number of daily cases had been declining in May and early June.
But as many places continued to ease lockdown restrictions, cases began to rise again, hitting a record high of 47,341 a day on June 26th.
In response, states including Florida, Texas and Arizona have begun reimposing lockdowns.
New York, however, once an epicentre of the outbreak, recorded just five deaths on Sunday, the lowest figure since March.
In response to the travel ban, United States Travel Association executive vice president for public affairs and policy, Tori Emerson Barnes, said: “This news would be incredibly disappointing, and a step in the wrong direction as we seek to rebuild our global economy.
“In the United States alone, travel-related jobs account for more than a third of lost employment due to the fallout of the pandemic.
“Health is paramount, and the public has a major role to play by embracing best practices such as wearing masks, but we are at a stage when it should be possible to make progress.”
Emerson Barnes also mooted a possible response from authorities in the United States.
“This is unwelcome news, and will have major negative implications for an economic recovery - particularly if this ban results in cycles of retaliation, as is so often the case,” she concluded.