Today, June 16, the European Union decided to lift the entry ban for Taiwanese nationals at the EU level during a meeting of members in Brussels. Besides Taiwan, the European Union has also lifted the ban on travelers from the United States.
The relaxation of travel rules has been agreed by all EU members, based on criteria such as COVID terms and reciprocity considerations, TheSchengen.com reports.
The trade bloc has recommended that member states gradually lift restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union for several other third countries since many citizens were vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus during May. Member states can impose their own quarantine rules or testing measures for travelers visiting their countries.
Between Taiwan and the United States, the European Union intends to allow non-essential travel to Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia and the Chinese administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong. Only a negative PCR test or a rapid antigen test will be required for these countries to enter the EU countries area.
As a result of the EU Council decision, the list of epidemiologically safe third countries, which is a list of non-EU/EEA countries considered safe due to low rates of coronavirus infection, will be updated, and travelers coming from those countries will be allowed to travel to member states in the European Union.
The initiative comes from the EU Commission, which has proposed that EU member states gradually and partially reopen their borders to non-essential travel from outside the bloc after an EU-wide entry ban was in place since March.
The Safe List is frequently reviewed and approved depending on the latest COVID-19 developments occurring in each country.
On June 3, the European list of countries that were epidemiologically safe in terms of coronavirus was revised with the addition of Japan to the list, which previously included Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. Reciprocity is to be confirmed in China, including the regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
According to Our World in Data, more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Taiwan, at a rate of 4.28 doses per 100 people. As of June 15, Taiwan has reported 135 new cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths, while the average for the past week is 221. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the country has counted 117 million infected and 3.82 million deaths.
The approved vaccines against COVID-19 are Moderna and AstraZeneca, while Medigen, Adimmune Corporation and COVAXX vaccines are still in trial.