The European Council has updated its list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted, according to a press release published by the Council.
According to the press release, travel restrictions should be lifted for three additional countries, which are Chile, Kuwait, and Rwanda.
There were also two countries removed from the list, which are the Republic of Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This means that the Council is recommending that travel restrictions be put back into place for these countries, Schengen-Visa.com reports.
The updated list for which travel restrictions should be lifted is made up of the following countries since the update:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- China, which is subject to confirmation of reciprocity
The Council says that their recommendations for the lifting of travel restrictions is based solely on the epidemiological situation in each country with Covid-19. Recommendations also take into account the country’s response to Covid-19 and reciprocity.
The Council’s recommendations are not legally binding for any Member States to actually follow. Member States can still lift or create travel restrictions for citizens of whichever country they want. Part of this, according to the Council, is whether or not travelers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
“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,” the press release reads.
The EU first started creating travel restrictions and travel bans in March of 2020 in response to the spread of Covid-19 globally, and most Member States have stuck with their restrictions since that time, as of writing.
On 30 June 2020, the Council began keeping a list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted, in an effort to both help Europe to re-open and help Member States to act in a coordinated manner in regard to travel bans, which is something that still has not happened.
Member States are still creating and taking away travel restrictions in a completely non-uniform manner, leading to very low confidence and unneeded confusion among travelers, according to organizations such as the European Travel Commission (ETC).
The Council’s list is updated every two weeks.