EU Adds US to Travel Ban Due to the Coronavirus

BRUSSELS — In an effort to safely and freely reopen the borders between the 27 EU member states after more than three months of restrictions, the EU has determined which countries and travelers are safe to enter the EU.

Early reports indicate that travelers from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, and the Vatican will be permitted entry. Britain is being considered part of the EU.

On Friday, EU officials announced that the United States would be included among a list of countries not permitted to enter the EU due to the prevalence of coronavirus cases in the country. The final list of which countries are and are not permitted is set to be officially released next week. When it is, EIG will provide further updates and guidance.

From the same draft, exceptions to the list include health workers, diplomats, humanitarian aid workers, transit passengers, asylum seekers, students, and individuals traveling for “imperative family reasons” and foreign workers whose employment in Europe is deemed essential.

The plan and the list of permitted countries were negotiated by EU senior diplomats, and will now be formalized in member states’ capitals as well as in the central EU bureaucracy before it takes effect on July 1.

Whether a country made the “safe list” was based on scientific criteria, infection rates, and credibility of the public health reporting data. As previously reported, the list will be reviewed and potentially revised every 14 days.

The entry list is not legally binding, but member states that open up to excluded countries risk having other EU borders closed to them.

In mid-March, when the coronavirus was at its peak in Europe, the United States banned entry for most EU travelers. While the infection rate has dropped, the US travel ban has not. Still, limited flights are operating primarily for diplomats, health care professionals, and repatriating Europeans form the US.

If you have specific questions about how this update impacts your case, please reach out to your EIG contact. EIG is closely watching the situation and will provide updates as more information becomes available.