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Covid-19: Albania, Serbia and Japan Dropped from EU’s Safe List for Travel

Photo © European Union, 2020

Photo © European Union

The European Council on Thursday removed six countries, including Albania, Serbia and Japan, from the list of safe third countries for non-essential travel into the EU.

Following a review under its recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted.

In particular, Uruguay was added to the list and Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brunei Darussalam, Japan and Serbia were removed due to the surge in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases that have been recorded.

The removal from the list means that the Council recommends for EU member states to reintroduce temporary entry bans or travel restrictions for visitors from the six countries.

In its recommendation the Council said that member states can choose to not impose temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travellers from countries removed from the list.

It is reminded that the Council’s recommendation is not a legally binding instrument.

Updated list of safe third countries

Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 9 September 2021 member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries and special administrative regions:

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

According to the Council, the criteria to determine the third countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted cover the epidemiological situation and overall response to COVID-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources. Reciprocity should also be taken into account on a case by case basis.

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

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