EU Adds More Third Countries to the Safe List

EU Adds More Third Countries to the Safe List

More third-country citizens will benefit from restriction-free entry to the European Union and Schengen Area Member States. The EU is adding 11 countries, including Canada, to the bloc's approved travel list allowing restriction free entry for non-essential purposes.

The decision was taken on 30 June, during a regular meeting of the EU ambassadors, who review the list of safe third countries every two weeks.

The following 11 countries will be added to the list:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Jordan
  • Kosovo
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia

Currently on the list are Albania, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States, which was last updated after the 16 June meeting of EU ambassadors.

All 11 of these countries have recorded a low number of COVID-19 cases recently. 

Once again, the United Kingdom has been left out of the list due to the widely spread Delta variant in its territory. 

In total, citizens of 25 countries from outside the EU could make non-essential trips to any of its member states.

While there hasn’t been a report that any of the countries currently on the list will be removed, the chances are that Rwanda will be the one to be dropped from this group after the country recorded a spike up in the number of COVID-19 cases in June.

EU Reopening Strategy

After a year since the list of safe third countries was first introduced, the list is finally expanding.

The move to add these countries to the list is part of the EU’s reopening strategy, through which the bloc intends to slowly reopen for travellers from third countries with a low number of COVID-19 cases reported.

While the EU recommends to the Member States to reopen their borders to the residents of these countries completely restriction-free, the Member States may still impose restrictions like a negative Coronavirus test or self-isolation. In addition, the member states are not legally bound in applying to the EU Council’s list, but they should base their own national lists on it.

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