The Council of the European Union has announced that the borders of EU member states will now be open to people coming from Ukraine as the country has been added to the EU’s list of epidemic-safe countries.
At the same time, it was revealed that stricter travel restrictions have been imposed on all arrivals from Rwanda and Thailand as the two countries are no longer part of the list of safe countries outside the European Union, TheSchengen.com reports.
Such decisions to remove or include new countries in the EU safe country list are based solely on the COVID-19 situation prevailing in the third countries and vaccination rates. More precisely, a country is added to the EU’s list of epidemiologically safe countries if it has identified less than 75 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days.
“After reviewing the recommendation to gradually lift temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions, other entities and regional authorities whose travel restrictions should be lifted. In particular, Rwanda and Thailand were removed from the list and Ukraine was added to the list ‘, said the council’s statement.
As such, based on the new conditions established on the recommendation of the Council, since 15 July, EU member states must gradually lift travel restrictions for nationals 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 USA China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
In addition, the council reiterated that travel restrictions should be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China, Hong Kong and Macau.
It was also emphasized that the Schengen affiliated countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – are also involved in recommending the lifting of the restrictions imposed on the above-mentioned third countries.
Thus, this means that all travelers from one of the three countries listed above can enter the block of 27 countries and the four Schengen-linked countries for travel purposes.
However, it should be noted that such a classification of countries does not prevent EU member states from imposing COVID-19-related requirements such as testing or self-isolation on arrivals from third countries.
Previously, the German authorities decided to follow the EU’s recommendation and allow unrestricted entry for those coming from 25 third countries.
The Swedish authorities also made a similar decision, allowing entry to 11 other third countries.