The Council of the European Union has confirmed that11 more third countries have been added countries to the EU’s list of epidemiologically safe third countries, for which the EU countries should reopen the borders soon.
The decision has been taken on June 30, during a meeting of the EU ambassadors, who review the list of safe third countries every two weeks, and announced by the EU Council on July 1, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
With the update of the list, the EU Member States are now advised to reopen the border for the residents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Jordan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
“Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted,” the Council notes in its press release.
Thus, since July 1, based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, the EU countries should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- New Zealand
- Republic of Moldova
- Republic of North Macedonia
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- United States of America
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
SchengenVisaInfo.com had published the list of the newly added countries on June 30, immediately upon the meeting of the EU ambassadors, pointing out that these countries were added to the list due to the low number of COVID-19 cases marked in their territory.
The same had also highlighted the fact that the former EU member – the United Kingdom – was left out of the list due to the widely spread Delta variant of the Coronavirus in its territory.
The list had previously been updated on June 18, when the Council of the EU had added the US, Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan, and the Chinese administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau to it. This was at the same time the highest number of countries added to the list since the publication of the first list back a year ago, up until now.
In spite that the Council recommends to the 27 EU Member States and the four non-EU Schengen Area countries to reopen the borders to the residents of these third-countries, the Member States are not legally bound in doing so.