Citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay and China, “subject to confirmation of reciprocity” will all be able to travel into the EU as of July 1. Also on that list was Algeria, Morocco, Georgia, Montenegro, Rwanda, Serbia and Tunisia.
“The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively,” said the EU Council, in a press release.
Those countries are expected to meet criteria that includes the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average. While the virus’s growth has stabilized in Europe over the past few months, cases have been rising in the last 14 days in 35 U.S. states.
The EU is also looking at individual country response to the virus, including testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting. Most countries haven’t had much luck so far with contact tracing, outside of China.
In the case of the U.S., a ban remains on European travelers from early March, when the breakout was severe in places such as Spain and Italy.
EU citizens and long-term EU residents and family members, or any travelers with an essential function travelling from the banned list to Europe will be exempt under the new rules. The EU has been expecting to announce the ban for days, with Russia, and Brazil among the countries also not allowed in.
The EU plans to update the list every two weeks, reserving the right to reintroduce any bans where needed.