After four months of travel bans, Europe will soon officially be open to visitors from at least 14 countries. Not the U.S. Nor Brazil and Russia. But Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea yes.
After much debate, particularly over criteria for inclusion, the final list of approved countries should be revealed early this week. EU officials wrangled again on Friday over which countries will make it on to the list, and those who will not.
According to Le Monde this resulted in a list of 14 countries who’ll get the green light to Europe travel from July 1. The list is to be reviewed every fortnight, as Europe’s international tourism comeback gradually unfurls. No doubt it will steadily be expanded upon.
Here are the early birds in alphabetical order, for whom the EU plans to first lift the travel ban:
Note: Arrivals from Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican and San Marino are also welcome.
China, And Reciprocity In Border Opening
Other than the infection rates in other countries, and their Covid-19 response, another factor weighs in heavily: Whether the country has lifted travel restrictions on the EU. Something that is still not the case with President Trump’s Europe travel ban. Though the health situation rules out the U.S. for now in any case.
For China it’s different. It represents a kind of no.15 on the initial list. But its inclusion is dependent on it opening up its borders to EU travelers. “Chinese travelers could enter Europe, but on condition that their country respects the principle of reciprocity by authorizing Europeans to travel to China,” reports Agence France-Presse. “This is not the case at this point, and is considered unlikely in the short term.”
Why Did That List Shrink So Dramatically?
According to Euronews, 54 countries were on a draft list obtained “from EU diplomatic sources” on Thursday. “It is clear these numbers may continue to fluctuate.”
Was it heated discussion over the epidemiological criteria being used to determine the two lists that saw it shrink so dramatically in a day? From 54 to 14 is quite a fluctuation. As EU border’s reopen to non-essential international travel for the first time since March 17, a list of some 50 countries has been on the table for a week.
The earlier draft list offers an insight into some other third country nationals who may soon be welcome in the EU/Schengen zone. On top of Caribbean nations, it includes many other countries in Southeastern and Central Europe, as well as Africa, the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia.
It’s understood that about 50 nations have also been put on a barred (“red”) list. Borders will not reopen to them in a hurry. Other than the U.S. and Russia, for now they are known to include Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
No Limits On UK Travelers
Travelers from the UK are being treated like fellow Europeans during the Brexit transition period. Until the end of the year, they enjoy unrestricted travel and are exempt from the travel ban says the EU. The UK too plans to keep Americans at bay, with a quarantine on arrival.