The European Union Council has finally published an update to its list of epidemiologically safe third-countries, the residents of which are permitted to enter the European Union, even for non-essential purposes as leisure and tourism.
After the last update took place on August 7, the Council has updated the new review of the list, according to which Singapore is added as a COVID-19 low-risk country, and Canada, Georgia and Tunisia are removed after the numbers of Coronavirus cases detected in all three have spiked up.
As of October 22, the EU Council advises the Member States to gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
At the same time, the Council also advises the Member States to lift the current entry ban for the residents of the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao, once the latter reopen their borders for EU citizens.
“As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated,” a press release published in the website of the EU Council notes.
It also points out that the 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.
“The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover, in particular, the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations,” the press release explains.
The EU Council of Ministers had first published a list of 15 third-countries, on which the Member States Could base their national lists of safe third countries, consisting of the following: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, China (on the condition of reciprocal action by its authorities).
The Council reviewed the list on July 16, excluding Montenegro and Serbia, after the number of cases in both rapidly increased. Later, on July 30, Algeria was removed from the list, and on August 7, the Council dropped Morocco out after the country reported an increasing number of cases.
Ever since, the list has been the same consisting of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity. The EU Member States have, however, adopted the list according to their evaluations, some of them not opening the borders at all.