After four months of travel bans and border closure, Europe will soon officially be open to visitors from some 54 countries. Not the U.S. Nor Brazil, Qatar and Russia. Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica and Turkey yes.
After much debate, particularly over criteria for inclusion, the list of approved countries should be revealed this week. It will be reviewed every two weeks.
There is also heated discussion, it claims, about the criteria being used to determine the two lists. “When EU guidelines were released two weeks ago officials said the list would take into account the infection rate in countries concerned. The criteria are based on epidemiological data … there are now 54 on the acceptable draft list, and it is clear that these numbers may continue to fluctuate.”
54 Countries Welcome, Give Or Take A Few Maybe
Here are those countries, in alphabetic order, for whom Europe plans to lift the travel ban. They are the ones who’ve so far made it onto a draft list of international visitors to be welcome. Euronews says it obtained the list “from EU diplomatic sources” on Thursday.
On top of Canada and Caribbean nations, it includes many Southeastern and Central European countries as expected. As well as Africa, the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia.
About 50 nations have been put on a barred list. Borders will not reopen to them. More details should come early this week.
Some Countries May Flout Recommendations
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. The UK too plans to keep Americans at bay, with a quarantine on arrival.
The EU’s recommendations to members are just that. The 30 countries who applied the travel ban since March 17 are not bound to enforce them. Some may choose to keep their borders closed to international even some European travelers. Others like Greece may welcome visitors from the banned list, of countries with high Covid-19 infection rates.
EU officials say the list will be updated taking into account the health situation in other countries, and their Covid-19 response. But there’s another factor that weighs in heavily too: Whether the country has lifted travel restrictions on the EU. Something that is still not the case with President Trump’s Europe travel ban.
Bosnia and Herzegovina