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Britons could face COVID travel ban to EU countries from January 1

Passenger departing Heathrow airport, June 2020
Passenger departing Heathrow airport, June 2020   -   Copyright  AFP
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Coronavirus restrictions mean British travellers could face being banned from non-essential travel to EU countries from January 1.

Due to the end of the Brexit transition period, the UK will no longer be exempt from COVID-related travel curbs within the bloc.

Brussels maintains a list of non-EU countries and their coronavirus infection rates. It bans those with significant COVID-19 outbreaks.

The list is set to be reviewed again on December 14 but it is unclear at this stage how the EU will judge the UK's outbreak.

The restrictions, if put in place, only stop non-essential travel. They would not apply to UK citizens that are residents of other EU countries. Individual EU countries can also choose to override them.

Norway, a non-EU member state, has announced British nationals won’t be allowed to enter the country from January 1, unless they are residents.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "COVID restrictions will depend on the combination of what the EU decides, but also member states. I'm afraid restriction on travel, inevitably, is going to be something that is kept under review."