Residents of Canada, Morocco, Japan, Australia, Rwanda, Uruguay, Algeria, Georgia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia and South Korea are in principle welcome back to Europe from Wednesday. These countries are on the list of countries whose health situation regarding coronavirus is comparable or better than the average in Europe.
China is the fifteenth country on the list, but because of the so-called reciprocity principle, the Chinese can only enter Europe if the country also allows EU citizens.
EU countries still have to transpose the recommendation into national regulations, so that delays or additional restrictions can be imposed.
The country list was drawn up after lengthy consultations and was not accepted by all countries. For example, due to the importance of tourism, some southern Member States had insisted on a more extensive list, while countries such as the Netherlands had advocated caution. Because there was no consensus, it came to a vote. Travel restrictions for countries that are not on the list are not intended to be relaxed.
The list is reviewed every two weeks. Countries where the number of new cases for two weeks is close to or below the EU average are eligible to receive it. Contact tracing, the number of corona tests and the reliability of figures are also examined.
EU countries except Ireland and the Schengen countries Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein closed their borders in mid-March for unnecessary trips by travelers from outside the EU. The entry ban was extended twice, the last time until June 30.