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The EU has announced an updated ‘white list’ for travel from outside Europe

The bloc is allowing in eight more countries, with the US now on the list but no UK

Written by
Sarah Medina

Following last year’s global shutdown, the majority of EU countries are now allowing travellers to cross borders freely within Europe – as long as they bring a negative test result. But what about visitors from elsewhere? Well, last July, the bloc reopened its external borders too – but only to tourists arriving from a small list of nations, currently deemed safe.

This week, the EU updated their 'white list' to include eight more countries. The big surprise? The United States made the cut, but the United Kingdom did not. 

The full list is now as follows:

Hong Kong
New Zealand
North Macedonia
South Korea
United States 

Visitors from these countries will now be able to enter the EU without having to quarantine and can move freely between member nations. 

To compile the list, diplomats had originally recommended including all countries with an incidence rate of below 75 cases per 100,000 over a 14-day period. While the UK meets that requirement, the prevalence of the infectious Delta variant has kept it off the list for now and EU member states are advised to prohibit all non-essential travel from the UK. 

To be fair, the UK government has yet to put any EU country on its own ‘green list’ of destinations where travel is permitted without the need to quarantine upon return. 

But there’s still hope for Brits dreaming of a European holiday this summer. EU countries are free to ignore the advice and allow in visitors who aren’t on this list: for instance, Greece is already letting in travellers from both the UK and the USA. And starting July 1, a Covid passport scheme will also allow EU residents and people from some non-EU countries who are fully vaccinated, have had a negative test or can prove recovery from the virus to move freely within the bloc. 

Otherwise, you might want to consider a holiday slightly closer to home.

Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.

Where can you travel right now? Here’s what you need to know.

How safe is flying right now? We asked an expert.

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