The Council of the European Union removed the United States, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Lebanon from the list of third countries that are epidemiologically safe after the high number of infections with the Corona virus that was recently recorded in these territories.
TheSchengen.com previously reported that the European Union would take such a step on Monday as the United States, along with these countries, was recently hit hard by the coronavirus.
Therefore, the latest decision means that citizens of these regions are subject to an entry ban when planning to head to 27 EU member states while traveling for non-essential purposes, including tourism, TheSchengen.com reports.
Besides, the Council of the European Union clarified that as of August 30, the list of epidemiologically safe third countries includes the following regions:
Albania Armenia Australia Azerbaijan Bosnia and Herzegovina Brunei Darussalam Canada Japan Jordan New Zealand Qatar Republic of Moldova Saudi Arabia Serbia Singapore South Korea Ukraine
China is subject to confirmation of reciprocity, which means that if China allows entry into its territory for travelers from the European Union, the European Union will lift the entry ban imposed on Chinese passengers. However, the reciprocity rule does not apply to Hong Kong and Macau.
“Travel restrictions must also be gradually lifted for the Special Administrative Regions of China, Hong Kong and Macau,” said the statement published by the Council of the European Union.
According to figures published by the World Health Organization, 181,046 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the United States in the past 24 hours.
The same source reveals that in the past 24 hours, Kosovo recorded a total of 1,630 new cases of COVID-19, Montenegro 557, Israel 6,576, North Macedonia 663, and Lebanon 1,153.
On June 18, the Council of the European Union included the United States in a list of countries considered safe based on their epidemiological situation, and advised member states to allow Americans to enter their territories without restrictions.
In July, US President Joe Biden indicated that the US could soon follow the European Union’s lead and lift the ban on European travelers that has been in place for more than 16 months due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, such a decision has not yet been taken, although it has been criticized by many governments and organizations.
Besides, the current situation of COVID-19 has prompted the Council of the European Union to impose a ban on arrivals from the United States, temporarily freezing travel between the two regions again.
The Safe Travel List published by the Council of the European Union is updated every two weeks, taking into account the COVID-19 situation in other countries.
In order to become part of the EU safe list, countries must have had no more than 75 new cases per 100,000 population in the past 14 days.