Thursday, May 6, 2021

Council of EU Tells Member States to Open Borders for Israeli Tourists

The Council of the European Union has updated the list of epidemiologically safe third countries, the residents of which should be permitted by the Member States to enter the block, after more than three months.

The Council of the EU has advised the Member States to add Israel to the list of safe third countries and soon permit Israeli travellers to enter the Schengen Area and the rest of the EU countries restriction-free for non-essential purposes, including tourism.

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 for which travel restrictions should be lifted to add Israel,” the Council notes in a press release on its recommendation.

According to JHU CSSE COVID-19 Data, on January 26, Israel recorded 11,937 new COVID-19 cases when was also reached the peak of daily cases in the country. On May 1, the country recorded no new cases, while 73 cases were marked on the following day.

The drop in the number of cases is mostly thanks to the intensive vaccination of the Israeli population against the virus. Data shows that almost 60 per cent of the Israeli population have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus, while 55.9 per cent of the total population have been fully vaccinated by now.

Upon the most recent update of the Council of the EU recommendation on freedom of movement for third-country citizens, from May 6, the following countries are part of the list for the residents of which the Member States should lift travel restrictions at the external borders:

  • Australia
  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • China, including Hong Kong and Macao (subject to confirmation of reciprocity)

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation,” the Council recalls.

In the previous update of the recommendation, on January 28, 2021, the Council had excluded Japan from the list while adding no new countries to it. Over a month before, on December 17, 2020, the Commission had excluded Uruguay from the list by also not adding any new countries.

Canada, Georgia and Tunisia, had been removed from the same list on October 22, 2020, while Singapore had been added to it.

The EU Council’s list of epidemiologically safe third countries is a list of third countries which are considered epidemiologically safe amid the Coronavirus pandemic due to the low rates of infections in their territory. The list had first been published on June 30 and consisted of 15 third countries.

The list was then updated seven times, including today’s update.

Last Monday, on May 3, the European Commission had proposed to the Member States to reopen their borders for travellers from third countries who have been vaccinated against the virus to enter the block for non-essential purposes. The proposal comes as a part of the EU’s attempts to revive travel to its territory in time for summer.

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