European Council revises coronavirus safe list

Three countries removed from initially recommended list

The European Council has updated its list of countries for which states can lift travel restrictions, effective 31 July 2020, following a review of its coronavirus safe list.

Based on current criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, European Union member states are able to allow citizens from 12 countries: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China is also included, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

The update follows the council’s adoption of recommendations based on mutual terms – whereby regulators of the listed countries agree to allow Europeans to travel to their state – that was announced on 30 June 2020.

Struck off the initial list of countries are Algeria, Montenegro and Serbia.

Those countries on the latest list have shown a stable or decreasing trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the previous 14 days; have close to or are below the EU average number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 citizens; and have adopted COVID-19 responses (testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting).

Territories of the EU are however able to progressively lift travel restrictions to non-listed third countries, as the recommendation is not legally binding, so long as the Member States have made the decision in a “coordinated manner”, the European Council said.

“This list of third countries should continue to be reviewed regularly and may be further updated by the council, as the case may be, after close consultations with the commission and the relevant EU agencies and services following an overall assessment based on the criteria above,” the EC added.

Lead image: Photo by Dennis Gecaj on Unsplash

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