The European Council has recommended that starting tomorrow (July 1), the EU’s borders be reopened to citizens of a variety of non-EU countries, including Canada, Morocco and Australia.
European diplomats have spent five days debating which countries outside the EU should be included in the list of so-called “safe travel destinations” in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The countries are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
China is subject to a reciprocity agreement, which is still pending. The decision is not legally binding, and means that individual member states will have to decide whether or not to implement the policy.
The United States, Russia and Turkey are among many countries that are not included and their representatives are understood to have lobbied intensely.
It is not yet clear when citizens of the 15 countries will be able to fly to Europe. It now depends on the specific announcement of the individual member states.
French authorities say they hope to implement the decision in the “next few days.” This afternoon, the Czech Republic released a smaller version of the list, with eight countries that the government considers safe for inbound and outbound travel.
The EU Council list will be updated every two weeks. The United Kingdom is automatically included in the list along with Switzerland, and with members of the EEA Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway.