EU updates list of epidemiologically safe third countries

The European Union Council has announced that the borders of the EU Member States will now be open to arrivals from Ukraine as the country has been added to the EU’s epidemiologically safe countries list.

At the same time, it has been revealed that stricter travel restrictions will be imposed against all arrivals from Rwanda and Thailand since the two countries are no longer part of the non-EU safe-countries list, Schengen Visa Info reports.

Such decisions to remove or include new countries on the EU’s safe-countries list are solely based on the COVID-19 situation prevailing in third countries and the vaccination rates. More precisely, a country is added to the EU’s list of epidemiologically safe countries if it has identified fewer than 75 Coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last 14 days.

As such, based on the new conditions set on the Council’s recommendation, since July 15, the EU Member States should gradually lift travel restrictions for citizens of the following third countries:

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Lebanon
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Ukraine
  • United States of America
  • China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

In addition, the Council reiterated that the travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for China’s special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macao.

It was also highlighted that Schengen associated countries – Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – also take part in the recommendation to lift the restrictions for the above-mentioned third countries.

Consequently, this means that all travellers from one of the third countries mentioned above can enter the 27-nation bloc and the four Schengen associated countries for travel purposes.

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