EU to allow in visitors from 14 countries as it eases coronavirus lockdowns

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The EU has kept a travel ban in place at its external borders including non-EU Schengen area member states, including non-EU Schengen area member states — Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein — since mid-March. — Courtesy photo
The EU has kept a travel ban in place at its external borders including non-EU Schengen area member states, including non-EU Schengen area member states — Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein — since mid-March. — Courtesy photo

BRUSSELS As part of its efforts to ease coronavirus restrictions, the European Union on Tuesday approved visits from 14 countries from July 1, citing epidemiological factors for the decision.

On the current "safe" list, still likely to be amended, are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Meanwhile, it extended a ban on travelers from the United States and most other countries.

Over the past month, the US has seen its number of cases steadily rise. Other countries on the list include Brazil, Russia and India, which have seen their number of positive cases surge in recent weeks.

"This is not an exercise to be nice or unfriendly to other countries," Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told a local radio station ahead of the list's publication. "This is an exercise of self-responsibility."

The list of permitted countries is technically a recommendation. According to the European Council, member states will have the final say in how the restrictions are eased for countries on the list.

"The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation," said the Council. "They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions toward countries listed."

The EU has kept a travel ban in place at its external borders including non-EU Schengen area member states, including non-EU Schengen area member states — Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein — since mid-March.

The list of banned and permitted countries will be updated every two weeks to take into account progress or lack thereof, the Council said in a press release. — Agencies


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