EU added USA & more third countries to the list of epidemiologically safe countries
The Council of the EU has updated the list of epidemiologically safe third-countries, in which are placed the non-EU/EEA countries that are considered safe amid the Coronavirus pandemic due to the low rates of COVID-19 infections and their successful vaccine rollout campaigns. Through the update, the Council has advised the 27 Member States to permit restriction-free entry for the residents of the US, Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan and the Chinese administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau regardless of their COVID-19 vaccinations status, Schengen Visa Info 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:
- New Zealand
- Republic of North Macedonia
- South Korea
- United States of America
- China, 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.
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