EU to lift travel restrictions on 15 non-EU countries

The Council of the EU on Tuesday agreed to ease travel restrictions for 15 non-EU countries from July 1.

Those are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay — and China, if it agrees to ease restrictions on EU countries in return.

The list of safe countries is in addition to Andorra, San Marino, Vatican City and Monaco.

National capitals also finalized the criteria by which to decide if a country is safe enough from the coronavirus to reopen travel. That includes an infection rate that is equal to or lower than the EU’s two-week average, a stable or downward trend, and the country’s overall handling of the pandemic including their health care infrastructure, testing capacity and the reliability of the data it provides.

The recommendations to ease restrictions are not binding, and EU countries have the authority to open when they wish, and to whom.

The list will be updated every two weeks based on new data, the Council said.


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