European Commission officials are working with Member States to inform which visitors could be considered safe to visit from 1 July, when the EU intends to reopen its borders.
EU diplomats who spoke to CNN insisted the criteria would be based on health rather than policy.
However, many sources told CNN that they had not seen any list of specific countries.
“We have not set the final objective criteria, so the first list of countries has not been written. It does not exist. We certainly have data, but there is no list,” an EU official told CNN on Thursday.
“Objective criteria must be applied equally to one hundred or more third countries, so it has never been for one country.”
The United States has the highest number of mock deaths and infections in the world. As of late Thursday, at least 2,422,299 people had been infected and 124,410 had died, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Koranai Resource Center.
Discussions continued in European capitals on Friday ahead of the ambassadors’ meeting as EU member states struggle with thorny issues such as how to deal with restrictions in non-EU countries that have a bilateral travel agreement with an EU member state such as Brazil. with Portugal.
Questions have also been raised about how to evaluate the test and detection schemes of some countries and the reliability of their data.
The recommendations made by the European Commission are not binding – decisions on whether and how to open borders are matters for individual states.
However, European Commission spokesman Adalbert Jahnz said it was necessary for EU member states to adopt a unified approach when reopening borders.
“It is really important for the effectiveness of this travel restriction, as well as for the integrity of the Schengen area, that the Member States act together on this,” he said.
“We have seen a very strong political commitment from the Member States to continue to act in a coordinated manner on this issue.”
When asked earlier this week if the United States was on a list of countries of origin that may be barred from traveling to Europe, an EU diplomat referred CNN to the top of a June 11 checklist published by the European Commission on what to consider when allowing EU travelers.
The first point of the checklist asks whether the country can be “considered to be comparable or better epidemiologically with the EU average +” in terms of the number of new infections, the trend of new infections and response in areas such as testing, surveillance, contact detection, restriction, processing and reporting.
A second EU diplomat insisted there was no political aspect to the criteria under discussion.
“It’s only for health. Sure, you can see you’re not on the list as something political when one country is allowed and another isn’t, but that’s a misrepresentation of what we’re doing. We’re trying to open our borders, that’s it.” a positive step, “said the diplomat.
“There are 27 countries sitting around the table and have very different views, focusing on objective criteria, as the criteria must be applied uniformly.
“If you take the US, as far as I know, there’s already a lot of interest from the New York Times article. countries as well. “
The diplomat hoped that progress could be made in the final talks, as the July 1st deadline will remain.
“Ambassadors will meet this Friday and see how far they can go. Let’s hope we get a little closer.”
US prices are not a factor
Reciprocity is another matter according to the June 11 directives.
Asked by a reporter on Thursday, Eric Mamer, the European Commission’s chief spokesman, said the US move to impose new tariffs on EU goods would not take into account the discussions.
“Our internal process is obviously related to health-based assessments. Everything else – whether or not the United States can make decisions – is speculation that we will not. And in any case, our internal will not be affected. process. “
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the United States had worked with European nations on the best way to reopen travel.
“It’s important for the United States to give Europeans the ability to return to the United States. It’s important, very important for Europeans to fully reconnect with the US economy. I think the leaders of both countries understand this.” he said during a briefing at the State Department.
Among the options being discussed are travel restrictions based on U.S. geographical areas, rather than an extensive ban across the country, as some areas have higher rates of infection than others, two EU officials told CNN.