EU to accept visitors from 14 “safe” countries from July 1

EU to accept visitors from 14 “safe” countries from July 1

The EU has decided on a list of 14 countries whose citizens will be allowed to travel into the bloc from July 1.

EU pinpoints its “safe” countries 

Restrictions on travel within the EU and the Schengen area were already lifted on June 15, but now citizens from 14 more countries - those with negligible coronavirus infection rates - look set to be allowed in.

The current safe list includes: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. These countries have all had 16 or fewer new cases per 100.000 people over the last two weeks. 

The list notably does not include countries like the United States, Russia, India and Brazil, which are still deemed risk areas due to their high infection rates. 

Due to ongoing Brexit negotiations, travel between the EU and the United Kingdom is arranged on a different basis. However, UK nationals are still to be treated as EU citizens until the end of the transition period on December 31, making them exempt from temporary travel restrictions into the EU. The UK is also currently discussing the possibility of “air bridges” for several EU countries so that some summer holidays will still be possible.

The future of travel?

The list - and the criteria by which countries are judged to be safe or not - are set to be finalised by midday on Tuesday. However, the list is only advisory and individual EU member states have the right to set their own entry rules, as they see fit. 

Plans are for the safe list to be amended every two weeks, and it is likely that the list of safe countries will grow. EU diplomats have stated they would be willing to add China should the Chinese government offer a reciprocal deal for all EU travellers.

Germany was wary of reopening borders and risking the progress made in the battle against coronavirus. The country lobbied for a short list of countries, all with low infection rates, a good health service, and reliable health data.

Countries like Greece and Portugal on the other hand were keen to reopen, as they have economies that rely on the tourism industry and were comparatively less affected by the coronavirus outbreak. 

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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