For the second time this month, the European Union extended its travel ban on Americans on Thursday, as COVID-19 infections continued to rise across the United States.
The EU first started lifting its travel restrictions outside the bloc on July 1, welcoming visitors from 14 countries, including Canada, South Korea and Australia. The U.S. was left off that initial list, and the EU extended its ban on Americans visiting the bloc on July 16.
The announcement, by the European Council, came after EU officials conducted their biweekly review of travel restrictions, examining coronavirus trends and containment measures in each country to determine whether to add or narrow the list of permitted travelers.
The key measurement: The pandemic outbreak in a given country needs to be equally contained – or better – than in the EU.
The United States had more than 4.4 million COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, and more than 151,000 deaths, more than any other nation, according to Johns Hopkins University.
European countries have made significantly more progress in containing the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. According to EU data, the bloc – which includes the European Economic Area (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the United Kingdom – reported more than 1.7 million cases as of Thursday.
Three U.S. states — California, Florida and New York — have more than 400,000 cases, while a fourth, Texas, has nearly as many. No other EU country has more than 300,000 cases, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Here are the dozen countries where citizens are approved to visit the EU. The list has not changed from two weeks ago, when Montenegro and Serbia were removed:
Thursday’s decree does not apply to travel to Britain, which left the EU in January.
The U.S. State Department has advised Americans against international travel since March.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Europe travel ban an Americans continues as US COVID-19 cases rise