The European Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the European Union which were initially introduced in the middle of March. From tomorrow, travel restrictions will be lifted for these 15 countries.
As it is written on the EU Council’s website:
“On 16 March 2020, the Commission adopted a communication recommending a temporary restriction of all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU for one month. The restriction was implemented on 17 March, and it was extended for a further month respectively on 8 April 2020 and 8 May 2020.”
From tomorrow, travel restrictions will be lifted for residents of the following countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. China is also on this list but only if they let EU residents enter their country. Therefore, China is subject to confirmation of reciprocity.
The list is being reviewed and updated if necessary, every two weeks. The council can make recommendations but eventually it is up to the individual member states how they act. However, EU Member States are advised against lifting the travel restrictions for countries that are not listed here. If they do so, they are risking banning their own residents from entering other EU member states.
Travel restrictions may be restricted for residents of those countries where the following apply:
- The number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants is similar or below the EU average
- There has been a stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days
- Overall response to COVID-19 (information on testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, the total average score for International Health Regulations)
People wishing to enter the EU from those countries where travel restrictions continue to apply may enter the EU in the following cases:
- They are EU citizens or close relatives of EU citizens
- They are long-term EU residents
- They are travellers with an essential function or need (e.g. they work in healthcare or research and development)