U.S. Banned from Europe

According to the Associated Press, due to a large spike of Covid-19 in the U.S., the European Union (EU) has recommended its countries to reinstate Covid restrictions. This means the U.S. has been taken off the safe list for non-essential travel.

Since June, the EU has cleared the U.S. to travel with no other restrictions than usual Covid protocols, such as wearing a face mask and social distancing.

On Sept. 6, it was decided that it is too risky to have people from the U.S. travel to the EU when Covid cases are increasing in the country.

It is recommended that other non-European countries also issue travel restrictions for unvaccinated people visiting from the U.S.

According to the New York Times Covid-19 Statistics, there is an average of 152,177 new Covid cases every seven days, as of Sept. 17.

However, it is still up to each individual country to decide whether they require new protocols for their citizens.

According to the Associated Press, as of Sept. 7, Italy requires vaccinated travelers to take a Covid test 72 hours before arrival, while unvaccinated people have to “self-isolate” for five days upon their arrival.

Some students feel that the ban will affect international relations.

“It arguably isn’t an overreach for immigrants and travelers to be vaccinated so that the domestic populace is protected from foreign diseases,” said senior Ryan Silverstein, President of the United Nations Club.

In an effort to reduce the rise in Covid cases, President Biden issued a new vaccine mandate on Sept. 9.

According to the Associated Press, “The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans.”

However, some students still feel that it will be difficult for Americans to go back to their regular routines.

“Frankly, it is very difficult for the leader of the free world to say ‘America it’s back’ when our most important western ally and one of our largest trading partners is closing their borders to our citizens,” said Silverstein.

Meanwhile, the ban will continue to affect European countries on a global scale and on a local level, as seen in Sacred Heart University’s Study Abroad program, which may experience effects from the travel ban.

“Due to COVID-19 and related travel restrictions and concerns, all study abroad programming, including SHU in Dingle, was suspended from mid-Spring 2020 through the Summer of 2021,” said Renee Cassidy Pang, Senior Associate Director at the Office of Global Affairs. “For all SHU programming involving international travel, we require the COVID-19 vaccination. We also need to take into account host country requirements and partner university policies, which do vary, but, yes, may require masking, social distancing, testing, travel restrictions, etc.”

While there may be some mixed feelings about the ban, some international students feel that the travel ban is for the better.

Sophomore Margot Rouquette is from France and plays on the women’s golf team.

“The travel ban hasn’t affected me much. I can always go back to France since it is my home country,” said Rouquette. “Besides, I think the travel restrictions are reasonable to help not spread the virus to other countries. But I feel like people find a way around it to travel anyways.”

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