Saturday, June 19, 2021

Official: EU Adds US, Albania, Serbia & More Third Countries to the List of Epidemiologically Safe Third-Countries

The Council of the EU has updated the list of epidemiologically safe third-countries, in which are placed the non-EU/EEA countries that are considered safe amid the Coronavirus pandemic due to the low rates of COVID-19 infections and their successful vaccine rollout campaigns.

Through the update, the Council has advised the 27 Member States to permit restriction-free entry for the residents of the US, Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan and the Chinese administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau regardless of their COVID-19 vaccinations status.

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,” the Council notes in a press release issued today, on June 18.

The change had been previously warned by on June 16.

The Council will continue to review the list every two weeks, in order to add more countries that meet the criteria to be part of the list, and exclude those in which the COVID-19 situation deteriorates.

Thus, from June 18, the EU’s list of epidemiologically safe third countries consist of the following:

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Chinese regions of Hong Kong and Macao
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Lebanon
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United States of America

Restrictions for China will remain in place, as the country is subject to confirmation of reciprocity. This means that as soon as China permits entry for EU citizens, the EU will remove the entry ban on Chinese travellers. However, the condition of reciprocity for Hong Kong and Macao has been lifted.

Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao. The condition of reciprocity for these special administrative regions has been lifted,” the Council points out.

It also explains that under the category of entities and territorial authorities that are not recognised as states by at least one member state, the Member States should also abolish the entry ban on the residents of Taiwan.

Previously the Council updated the list on June 3, when it added Japan to the list of epidemiologically safe countries and excluded no other. Before Japan, Israel had been added to the list on May 6.

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