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EU to lift travel restrictions for 11 new third countries

Credit: Brussels Airport

The Council of the European Union has added 11 countries to its list of countries for which restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU should be lifted, in the latest update published on 1 July.

The EU’s list of “safe” countries is reviewed every two weeks, based on the countries’ epidemiological situation, overall response to Covid-19, and the reliability of the available information and data sources, as well as reciprocity on a case by case basis.

According to the latest update, Member States should now also gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following non-EU countries:

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brunei Darussalam
Canada
Jordan
Montenegro
Qatar
Republic of Moldova
Saudi Arabia
Kosovo

The Council recommendation is not legally binding, meaning that Member States remain responsible for deciding to implement it.

Additionally, the Council adopted a recommendation on 20 May, to ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people, while also setting up an “emergency brake mechanism” to quickly react to the emergence of a variant of concern.

The other countries on the EU’s “safe” list are Albania, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States of America, Taiwan and the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao.

China is also on the list, but is subject to confirmation of reciprocity, a condition that is not fulfilled for all Member States.

For all other non-EU countries, all travel restrictions remain in force.