As of July 1, the European Union and other European countries began opening their borders to nonessential travelers from fourteen countries and China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity. The countries were chosen based on certain criteria, including that the number of new cases had to be close to or below the EU average and they maintained a decreasing trend. However, not included on that list is the United States.
While Europe has managed to significantly decrease the number of new COVID-19 cases and flatten its curve, the United States’ numbers are going back up after states begin to reopen. In a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the country is “going in the wrong direction,” and mixed messaging on masks has set the U.S.’s public health response back—while many argue masks are not necessary, some studies show that they can help reduce transmission by somewhere between 50 percent and 85 percent. He also said he “would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around.”
With the country witnessing about 40,000 new cases daily, some governors are walking back their orders to reopen their states. After reopening the state, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued a series of executive orders limiting certain businesses and services, as well as issuing a nearly statewide mask mandate—after previously banning local governments from issuing similar bans. Governor Abbott’s change of pace comes as Texas reports nearly 7,000 new daily COVID-19 cases.