Algerians no longer allowed into EU after COVID-19 case spike

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By Joanna Gill, Jack Parrock
Rome Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.
Rome Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.   -  Copyright  Erika Kinetz/AP

Brussels has excluded people from Algeria from travelling into the EU amid a rise in coronavirus cases in the North African country.

Algeria had been one of a handful of countries outside the bloc, which, because of low COVID-19 transmission rates, had been on the European Commission's green list, allowing its citizens to travel into the EU. 

The exclusion came amid a regular two-week review of the list. 

The US remains excluded from the list, while Serbia and Montenegro were chalked off earlier this month. 

Countries currently deemed safe are: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Tourism hit

Europe is the world's number one tourist destination, so news that the EU cannot yet welcome more foreign tourists will come as a blow to European travel destinations.

A Hungarian MEP said a specific EU fund is needed for tourism.

"You don't need to be psychic to realise that in the coming weeks there will be lockdowns again," says István Ujhelyi, the vice-chair of the European Parliament's committee on transport and tourism.

"So there will be a very difficult situation for tourism again. That's why I call on the European Commission and on the member states to establish an immediate financial fund to help tourism businesses in the second half of the year. Because we will surely face huge problems again."

Earlier in June, MEPs voted on a resolution to give urgent support to small- and medium-sized businesses to help weather the economic fallout of the pandemic.