COVID-19: Council removes 5 countries and one entity/territorial authority from the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted
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.
In particular, Israel, Kosovo (*), Lebanon, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and the United States of America were removed from the list.
About Kosovo, this designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 (1999) and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
Non-essential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed in Annex I is subject to temporary travel restriction. This is without prejudice to the possibility for member states to lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travellers.
As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.
Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 30 August 2021, member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:
Bosnia and Hercegovina
Republic of Moldova
China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao.
Under the category of entities and territorial authorities that are not recognised as states by at least one member state, travel restrictions for Taiwan should also be gradually lifted.
Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.
The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted were updated on 20 May 2021. They cover the epidemiological situation and overall response to COVID-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources. Reciprocity should also be taken into account on a case by case basis.
Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.