Following the review, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other regional entities and authorities whose restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union must be lifted. Argentina, Australia and Canada in particular were removed from the list.
Temporary travel restrictions apply to non-essential travel to the European Union from countries, special administrative regions, other entities and regional authorities not listed in Annex I of the Recommendation. However, member states reserve the option to lift these restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers.
The list is reviewed every two weeks and updated as necessary.
From January 17, 2022, member states must gradually lift travel restrictions at external borders for residents of:
- the two seas
- Chili pepper
- New Zealand
- Kingdom Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- The United Arab Emirates
- China is reciprocated
Travel restrictions on China’s special administrative regions – Hong Kong and Macau – should also be phased out.
In the category of regional entities and authorities not recognized as a country by at least one Member State, the travel restrictions imposed on Taiwan must also be abolished.
Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are considered residents of the European Union for the purposes of this Recommendation.
The waiver criteria were updated on May 20, 2021. It looks at the epidemiological situation, the overall response to COVID-19, and the reliability of available information and sources. Reciprocity must also be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The countries associated with the Schengen area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) also support this recommendation.
On 30 June 2020, the Council adopted a recommendation on the phasing out of temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union. This included an initial list of countries from which Member States should gradually lift restrictions. The list is reviewed every two weeks and updated as necessary.
On May 20, the Board adopted an amendment recommendation in response to ongoing vaccination campaigns. Vaccinated people will receive certain exemptions and the criteria for lifting restrictions will be eased for third countries. At the same time, the amendments provide for an emergency braking mechanism to respond quickly to variables of interest (the “variable of interest”) or variables of concern (the “variant of concern”) in third countries.
The Board’s recommendation is not legally binding. The responsibility for monitoring its content remains with the authorities of Member States. They may gradually lift restrictions on travel to the above-mentioned countries with complete transparency.
It is not intended for a Member State to lift travel restrictions on third countries not on the list before a joint decision is made.
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