The European Council is recommending to Member States that travel restrictions should be reinstated for several countries, according to a press release published by the Council.
The countries that the Council recommends should subjects to travel restrictions are:
- Republic of North Macedonia
- The United States
This news comes as the Council removed the aforementioned countries from their list of countries that should not be subject to travel restrictions.
“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,” the press release reads.
Countries listed in the press release that should not be subject to travel restrictions include:
- Bosnia and Hercegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Moldova
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
Travel restrictions are also recommended to be lifted for residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican, as they are considered to be EU residents.
The lifting of travel restrictions from these countries is recommended to begin from 30 August 2021, however, Member States make their own decisions regarding whether or not to follow the Council’s recommendations.
The Council’s list came about on 30 June 2020 to assist Member States in deciding which travel restrictions to impose during the Covid-19 pandemic, and which countries to impose them on. Updates to the list are based mostly on the epidemiological situation in the countries in question meeting the standards set by the EU for entry of their citizens.
The list has been updated every two weeks since, and on 20 May 2021, the Council decided to also take into consideration the ongoing vaccination campaigns taking place in many countries in question.
The Council’s recommendations are not legally binding, and note that any Member State that decides to implement them should do so in a coordinated fashion with other Member States, although this still is not happening.