EU Lifting Travel Restrictions

Written and Published June 30, 2020

Following the news and updates around the COVID-19 pandemic, many airlines were forced to suspend or reduce their daily operations, and countries were forced to introduce travel restrictions. With the pandemic slowing down around the world, many countries have started to ease border restrictions and reopen for international tourists. Council of the European Union finally announced that starting July 1, 2020 travel restrictions will be lifted, but not for everyone.

EU Lifting Travel Restrictions

EU Lifting Travel Restrictions

European Union and Schengen countries have slowly eased internal travel restrictions once the first wave of the COVID-19 was over. The goal of the EU was to reopen the travel within the Schengen by the end of June and for the rest of the world in July. Council of the European Union recommended that starting July 1, 2020 travel restrictions be lifted and international borders be reopened. EU member states agreed on a list of 15 countries whose residents will be welcome to visit. This list will be evaluated every two weeks according to the Council of EU.

From the official statement:
The Council today adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU. Travel restrictions should be lifted for countries listed in the recommendation, with this list being reviewed and, as the case may be, updated every two weeks.

EU Lifting Travel Restrictions

Starting July 1 travel restriction will be lifted for the following countries:

  • Algeria

  • Australia

  • Canada

  • Georgia

  • Japan

  • Montenegro

  • Morocco

  • New Zealand

  • Rwanda

  • Serbia

  • South Korea

  • Thailand

  • Tunisia

  • Uruguay

  • China, but this will be subject to reciprocity

  • Also, residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican, should be considered EU residents

Will the List Expand?

EU announced the criteria on which they will determine if travel restrictions should be lifted. They stated that the list was based on the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days, the overall number of COVID-19 cases, and government handling of the pandemic.This list will be reviewed every two weeks and adjusted accordingly.

For a country to be marked as safe, the following criteria should be met:

  • Number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average as it stood on 15 June 2020

  • A stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days

  • The overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information, such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment, and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information