EU recommends lifting travel restrictions on 15 countries from July 1Comments
The EU Council has officially recommended to lift travel restrictions on 15 countries when external borders reopen from July 1.
An EU diplomatic source confirmed to Euronews earlier Tuesday that the draft list of 15 countries we reported on Monday has enough votes to pass.
The list has already aroused controversy after sources revealed that the United States - the worst-affected country worldwide by COVID-19 with more than 2.6 million cases, is not on the list of approved countries.
China is on the list but only in the event that EU citizens are allowed to travel there as well.
The final list of the countries for which Europe's borders will be open does not include Brazil, the US and Russia.
The EU said the list was decided based on the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days, the overall trend of COVID-19 cases and government handling of the crisis.
On Thursday, we reported that a draft list of 54 countries had been discussed by EU members but the final list contains 15 states.
Ultimately, it will remain up to individual EU countries to make the call for their borders, meaning in some cases countries could reimpose internal borders.
The full list of countries whose nationals will be allowed to enter Europe is as follows:
China *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 EU Council said in a statement.
Diplomatic sources told Euronews last week that there was disagreement between nations on the criteria to use for this decision, with some maintaining that data about COVID rates is not reliable.
State had asked the ECDC, the EU agency for disease prevention, to come up with more details, the sources said, adding that the lists will be reviewed every two weeks.
When EU guidelines were released a few weeks ago officials said the list would take into account the infection rate in countries concerned.
The criteria are based on epidemiological data and on Thursday, the draft list had 54 nations that would be accepted. There are now 15 countries on the draft list for the border to be reopened.
Which list is UK on?
Neither. According to the European Commission, UK nationals are still to be treated in the same way as EU citizens until the end of the Brexit transition period (31.12.2020).
This article has been updated with the new draft list of EU countries.