On Thursday, the EU updated its list of third countries for which restrictions on non-essential travel should be lifted for the first time.
Two countries that were first considered eligible, Montenegro and Serbia, have now been removed from the list of third countries which could see restrictions allowed over time.
Still on the list of safe countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, as well as China, subject to reciprocity.
The remaining countries are considered as having a “sufficiently good epidemiological situation,” as well as the necessary capacity to manage the epidemic, such as testing and contact tracing, according to the EU.
Inhabitants of all other countries are not allowed to enter the EU, except for essential journeys.
It was the Commission that recommended to the Member States to establish such a list of authorised countries, to be updated every two weeks.
The list remains a “recommendation,” and states are not obliged to apply the lifting of travel restrictions to the specific territories it covers.
After the publication of the first list at the beginning of July, Hungary had indicated that it did not intend, despite everything, to open its borders to citizens of third countries, with the exception of Serbia.
Belgium, too, decided not to open its borders to travellers from the EU’s list yet, as there were still too many health problems in those countries, or there was no reciprocity.
The EU closed its external borders in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Brussels Times