BRUSSELS — The European Union Thursday released an updated list of epidemiologically-safe countries for which non-essential travel to the EU is allowed.
Uruguay was added to the EU’s new list, but six countries were removed, namely Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brunei Darussalam, Japan and Serbia. The EU reviews its safe travel list every two weeks and, as the case may be, updated.
The list includes the epidemiological situation and overall response to COVID-19, as well as the reliability of the available information and data sources. The new list includes 12 non-EU countries whose residents can make non-essential travel to the bloc.
They are Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Jordan, New Zealand, Qatar, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine and Uruguay. China is subject to confirmation of reciprocity.
With European Union removing six countries from its list of safe travel destinations, visitors or people returning from those countries are likely to face tighter controls such as COVID-19 tests or quarantine.
The bloc still lets in most non-EU visitors who are fully vaccinated, although tests and periods of quarantine can apply, depending on the EU country of arrival.
The list seeks to unify travel rules across the bloc, advising that restrictions be lifted. However, it does not bind individual EU nations, which are free to determine their own border policies.
Germany, for example, already added Albania, Azerbaijan, Japan and Serbia on Sunday to its list of „high-risk areas“ for which tighter entry restrictions apply.
Average daily COVID-19 cases in the six countries knocked off the EU safe list have risen sharply from below 40 per million people in late June to over 100 in the week to Sept. 8, figures from Our World in Data show, with Serbia at 593.
However, the case rate in Japan has dipped in the past two weeks to almost exactly the same as in Germany.