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Brussels:

 
The European Union (EU) was planning to bar travellers from the US and some other countries where the COVID-19 pandemic has not been effectively controlled as the bloc is est to reopen in July.

After several rounds of negotiation in recent weeks, senior EU diplomats in Brussels have come up with a final list of the safe countries from which travellers are welcomed to the bloc, Xinhua news agency quoted The New York Times as saying in a report on Saturday.

As the US has registered the most COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, it is “highly unlikely” to be included in the final list, the newspaper said.

The exclusion of the US, an important source of tourism to the EU, “represented a stinging rebuke” to the US administration’s management of the pandemic, the report said.

The 27-member bloc plans to reopen on July 1 after months of lockdown, according to the report.

Russia is also among dozens of other countries considered by the EU diplomats as too risky.

Countries on the safe list were judged on their infection rates and the credibility of their reporting data, among other criteria, and the list will be updated every two weeks, it said.

The safe list is not final, and still needs to be formalized in the member states’ governments, the report said, adding the EU officials “did not expect the list to change”.

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