EU releases list of 14 “safe” countries for travel
The EU has decided on 14 countries whose citizens will be allowed to travel into the bloc from July 1.
Restrictions for travel within the EU and with Schengen countries had already been lifted on June 15, but now citizens from 14 more countries around the world have been labelled safe to be let in. The current safe list includes: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
Therefore, countries like the United States, Russia, India, and Brazil are set to be banned for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus and their high infection rates.
Travel between the EU and the United Kingdom is arranged on a different basis, due to ongoing Brexit negotiations. The UK is currently discussing the possibility of “air bridges” for several EU countries so that some travel into the EU will still be possible over the summer months.
Countries were included on the safe list if they had 16 cases or less for every 100.00 people over the last two weeks.
The future of travel?
The procedure to formalise the current list is set to be finalised by midday today. However, the list is only advisory and EU member states have the final decision in who is allowed in.
Plans are for the list to be amended every two weeks, and it is likely that the list of safe countries will grow. EU diplomats have stated they would be ready to add China should the Chinese government offer a reciprocal deal for all EU travellers.
The Netherlands was wary of reopening borders and risking the progress made in the battle against coronavirus. The country lobbied for a shortlist of countries, all with low infection rates, a good health service, and reliable health data.
Countries like Greece and Portugal on the other hand were keen to reopen to tourists, as they have economies that rely on the tourism industry and were less harmed by the outbreak of the coronavirus in comparison to other European countries.