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The EU Formalizes list of “Safe” Countries as Borders Reopen

June 30, 2020

On Tuesday, a day before the July 1 reopen date, the European Union officially announced the list of countries deemed “safe” for non-essential travel into the EU bloc.

As of July 1, the list of permitted countries for business and leisure travel includes Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. China is provisionally included in the “safe list” if EU travelers are also allowed into China.

Notably not included in the list is the United States. The bloc will review the list every 14 days and requires 65% of the member states to approve.

The entry ban applies to all applicable third-country nationals except those who are:

  • Beneficiaries of free movement right, within the application of the EU scheme to EU/ EEA nationals and their dependents;
  • Residents in the EU, Schengen associated States, Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican (Holy See) or San Marino;
  • Holders of a long-term visa issued by a Member State or Schengen associated State;
  • Cross-border workers;
  • Healthcare or elderly care professionals to undertake their work activity;
  • Personnel engaged in the transport of goods while undertaking their work activities, including sea crew for the provision of sea transport and fishing activities and flight crew required to carry out commercial air transport activities. It is mandatory to ensure the immediate continuity of the travel.
  • Members of the diplomatic missions, consular posts, international and military organisms, civil protection and humanitarian organizations for the performance of their official duties;
  • Students undertaking their studies in the Member States or the Schengen Associated States, holders of the corresponding visa or permit;
  • Highly qualified employees whose employment is mandatory, cannot be postponed or undertaken remotely. These circumstances shall be documented;
  • Persons traveling for imperative family reasons duly accredited;
  • Persons who provide documentary evidence of force majeure or necessity, or whose entry is permitted on humanitarian grounds.
Spain is the first to officially adopt the full EU plan. Additionally, EU nations are able to set their internal restrictions, as well, such as:
  • The Czech Republic | Travelers from Portugal and Sweden are not permitted.
  • Greece | Travelers from several ‘approved’ countries are required to take a COVID-19 test and self-isolate until the results are available.
  • Ireland | The government is not likely to adopt the recommendations.
  • Spain | The new criteria will not apply to the land border with Andorra nor the checking point in Gibraltar. Land borders to enter Spain through Ceuta and Melilla will remain temporarily closed.
  • The United Kingdom | Britons can travel to the EU countries, but non-essential travelers to England are required to self-isolate for 14 days. The UK is not likely to adopt the recommendations.