The Council of the European Union has confirmed that 11 more third countries have been added to the EU’s list of epidemiologically safe third countries, whose borders EU countries must soon reopen.
The decision was made on June 30, during a meeting of EU ambassadors, who review the list of safe third countries every two weeks, and announced by the EU Council on July 1, TheSchengen.com reports.
With the list updated, EU member states are now advised to reopen borders to residents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Jordan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
“Following a review under the recommendation regarding the gradual lifting of temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union, the Council has updated the list of countries, special administrative regions, other entities and regional authorities whose travel restrictions should be lifted,” the Council notes in its press release.
Thus, since July 1, based on the criteria and conditions set forth in the Recommendation, the EU countries should gradually lift travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:
Albania Armenia Australia Azerbaijan Bosnia and Herzegovina Brunei Darussalam Canada Israel Japan Jordan Lebanon Montenegro New Zealand Qatar Republic of Moldova Republic of North Macedonia Rwanda Saudi Arabia Serbia Singapore South Korea Thailand USA China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
TheSchengen.com published the list of newly added countries on June 30, immediately after the meeting of European Union ambassadors, noting that these countries had been added to the list due to a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases flagged in their territory.
The same was also highlighted by the fact that the former member of the European Union – the United Kingdom – was excluded from the list due to the widespread spread of the delta type of coronavirus in its territory.
The list was previously updated on June 18, when the Council of the European Union added the United States, Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan and the Chinese administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau to it. This was at the same time the largest number of countries added to the list since the first list was published a year ago, and until now.
Although the council recommends that the 27 EU member states and the four non-EU Schengen area countries reopen borders to residents of these third countries, member states are not legally obligated to do so.