The European Union (EU) has published a list of 14 countries whose citizens will be allowed to enter the area from July 1, 2020.
The African countries on the list are Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Rwanda.
The remaining countries are Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, and Uruguay.
The EU says the list will be reviewed every two weeks and adjusted depending on the latest Coronavirus developments in each country.
The EU maintains that if the Chinese government offers a reciprocal travel deal for citizens of European Union countries, it will be added to the safe list.
Criteria for inclusion
In a statement, the European Council of the EU said the criteria to determine the countries for which the travel restrictions should be lifted included “the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations” in respective countries.
With regards to the epidemiological situation, the countries were assessed on;
- number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on 15 June 2020)
- stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days
- overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information, including on aspects such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information and, if needed, the total average score for International Health Regulations (IHR). Information provided by EU delegations on these aspects should also be taken into account.
For countries where the travel restrictions continue to apply, the following categories of people were exempted from the restrictions: EU citizens and their family members, long-term EU residents and their family members and travellers with an essential function or need. Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.