For a good month and a half now, the majority of EU countries have been allowing travel from within the continent. As of July 1, the bloc has reopened its external borders too – but only to tourists from a small list of nations currently ‘deemed’ safe.
Citizens and residents of Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco and South Korea are now allowed in, but the USA still hasn’t made the ‘safe’ list. The EU may also add China to the list if it reaches a reciprocal agreement for European travellers with the Chinese government.
The bloc is reevaluating the list every fortnight. On July 15, it announced Serbia and Montenegro would be removed due to rising numbers of cases.
The announcement followed weeks of talks within the EU about whether to throw open their borders to travellers from around the world in a bid to reopen their flagging tourism economies, or instead take a more measured approach.
Whereas Germany and Spain had wanted to play it safe, favouring a short list of countries with low transmission rates, Greece and Portugal argued for as long a list as possible, according to the BBC. France, meanwhile, made the case for reciprocity: only admitting tourists from countries already allowing travel from Europe.
The result of these negotiations is a list of 12 countries currently deemed ‘safe’: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. As long as individual European countries have agreed (and most will), travellers from these 12 nations will now be allowed into Europe.
If you’re based anywhere else in the world, that last-minute European getaway will remain off the cards for the time being. So in other words: better look elsewhere if you fancy a beach trip this August.
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.
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