EU updates the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted

This list will continue to be reviewed every two weeks

Photo: EPA Flight attendant speaks with passengers of Bulgaria Air that boarded a flight to Sofia, Bulgaria, in Zurich, Switzerland, 26 March.

Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council announced on Friday that it updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted. As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed every two weeks and, as the case may be, updated, EC Press service reported.

Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 18 June 2021 member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:Albania, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and United States of America. China is subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao. The condition of reciprocity for these special administrative regions has been lifted.

Under the category of entities and territorial authorities that are not recognised as states by at least one member state, travel restrictions for Taiwan should also be gradually lifted.

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted were updated on 20 May 2021. They cover the epidemiological situation and overall response to Covid-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources. Reciprocity should also be taken into account on a case by case basis.

Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed. A Member State should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.

 

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