"Safe" Countries Will Be Able to Travel to Europe from July 1

EU delays decision on external border reopening

The exclusion of the United States, an important source of tourism to the European Union, represented a stinging rebuke to the Trump administration's management of the coronavirus scourge.

The EU revealed its criteria was based on, among other things, states where the "number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on 15 June 2020)".

For third countries outside the "safe" list, exemptions from travel restrictions continued to apply to European Union citizens and their family members, long-term European Union residents and their family members, as well as travellers "with an essential function or need".

The United States is now the country most affected by COVID-19 with more than 125,000 deaths - while Europe believes it has passed the peak of its outbreak.

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned that those planning to leave the country for "non-essential" reasons during the Covid-19 pandemic might be left picking up their isolation or quarantine bill on return.

Chinese citizens will be allowed into the European Union in principle - but only once China lifts its ban on European Union citizens.

EU delays decision on external border reopening
Travellers from Australia and 13 other 'safe' countries to be allowed into the EU

However, it is not expected that any country will deviate from the recommendations towards allowing in a larger group of nations and are more likely to restrict travel from countries on the list.

"The Council today adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU".

The countries in the EU's "safe" list were: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The restrictions are non legally binding on member countries, however, and the list will be reviewed every two weeks.

Many countries around the world are still experiencing high and increasing levels of this disease.

"A redrawn text of 10-20 countries was put to them, but many said they needed to consult first with their governments, diplomats said", the outlet reported.

The "EU+ area" includes all member states of its so-called Schengen visa area (including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania), as well as the four Schengen Associated States.


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