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United States Now on EU’s Safe List for Travel

Photo source: US Embassy Athens

Photo source: US Embassy Athens

The European Council on Friday added the United States of America to its updated list of countries for which restrictions should be lifted for travel into the EU.

The criteria to determine the third countries for which the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel should be lifted cover the epidemiological situation and overall response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources.

Based on the criteria and conditions, the Council recommends for member states to gradually lift the travel restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU for residents of the following third countries: Albania, Lebanon, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Taiwan and the United States of America. Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China: Hong Kong and Macao, the Council said.

Already on the Council’s “safe list” are Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity).

Photo © European Union - EP

Photo © European Union – EP

The Council’s list will continue to be reviewed every two weeks and, as the case may be, updated.

In addition, the Council said that residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of the recommendation. Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.

“A member state should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner,” the Council says.

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