USA. Locked out

BRUSSELS — European diplomats are poised to approve an agreement on which foreign travelers they want to welcome starting on July 1, as the European Union reopens its external borders for the first time since March, but with the coronavirus still raging in the United States, the possibility of allowing American tourists hasn’t even figured into the discussion, according to six diplomats familiar with the talks.

The rest of the world would continue to be kept out for nonessential travel.

The decision underscores the perception here that United States has failed in its coronavirus response. European leaders and health experts have watched with unease as many U.S. states insist on reopening, even as infections spike in many parts of the country.

E.U. members have seen clusters of infections since they began relaxing their own restrictions. Germany, Spain and Portugal are among those that have reimposed localized lockdowns. But for the bloc as a whole, diagnoses have slowed to 16 cases per 100,000 population over the past two weeks, the main measure Europe is using to determine whether countries make the cut.

The United States, by contrast, stands at 122 cases per 100,000 population and is getting worse. Florida has set records for the past 19 days in a row.

Wary of being pulled into a diplomatic brawl with each country they continue to exclude, European leaders have strained to keep their internal discussions focused narrowly on issues of science and epidemiology.

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