The European Council on Monday removed Argentina, Australia and Canada from the list of safe third countries for non-essential travel into the EU.
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 three countries.
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.
According to the Council’s recommendation, member states have the option to not impose temporary restrictions on fully vaccinated travellers entering the EU from countries not on its safe list.
It is reminded that the Council’s recommendation is not a legally binding instrument.
Updated list of safe third countries
According to the Council, following a review of its recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, member states as from January 17 should gradually open their external borders for residents of the following third countries, special administrative regions and territories: Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity).
Moreover, the Council advised for travel restrictions to be gradually lifted for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of the Council’s recommendation.
Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in the recommendation.
The Council’s list of epidemiologically safe third countries for which EU member states should lift travel restrictions is reviewed every two weeks and, as the case may be, updated.