“In recent days, several lists have been circulating in Brussels, the representatives of the individual countries could not agree,” said Lukáš Dolanský, a correspondent for the Czech Television in Brussels.
Finally, the following fourteen will be on the list of allowed countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Morocco, Japan, Montenegro, Rwanda, Serbia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. The fifteenth country on the list is China, but it must first allow citizens of EU states to enter its territory. Restrictions should also be lifted for the four European micro-states of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican.
The Czech Republic reacted to the list on Tuesday morning and reduced the number of countries to eight. The Foreign Ministry included Serbia, Montenegro, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and New Zealand in this group.
However, such an approach could complicate the whole system and countries would have to close their internal borders. “What would it mean if, for example, the Czech Republic said that people from New Zealand could not travel to us and that these people could travel to Austria? Does this mean that the Schengen borders would be closed? ”Outlines the possible consequences of the measures by the CT rapporteur. These issues will still need to be addressed at EU level.
In the case of Serbia and Montenegro, the possibility of bilateral travel is completely unrestricted, these countries do not apply any restrictions to the Czechs and the Czechia will treat their citizens in the same way. The remaining six countries apply certain restrictions on the arrival of Czechs, but Prague wants to include them on the list of safe states to facilitate the return of Czech citizens who will no longer have to prove a negative test for covid-19, or to enter quarantine.
“We also want to motivate these states to start treating us the same, ie to allow travel for our citizens without conditions. Therefore, travel of foreigners from these countries to the Czech Republic will not be allowed yet, but we are ready to react very flexibly to the change in the situation, ie the introduction of reciprocity, “said Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD) about six non-European countries.
Two conditions: reciprocity and security
The European Union insists on reciprocity with regard to its list, which means that it will want the above-mentioned states to allow EU citizens to enter their countries. This could significantly shorten the list. For example, New Zealand has already said that it will not open its borders, Australia is still banned from international tourism.
However, the reciprocity of countries is not the only condition that the European Commission has – the other is security. The countries on the list must have a maximum of 16 to 20 coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants. The long-term development of the disease or how specific countries approach testing and whether they provide reliable information will also play a role in assessing countries.
As the media has speculated in previous days, citizens of the United States and Russia will not be allowed to come to EU countries yet. Likewise, Brazilians will not be able to come to the Union in the coming weeks.
The European Union closed its external borders in March, when coronavirus disease began to spread rapidly in the EU. At that time, controls at the internal borders between the EU states also began, which the member states gradually abolished in June, with a few exceptions. At the same time, the European Commission recommended that from the beginning of July, people from non-EU countries should gradually allow entry, depending on the development of the disease.
The EU is now trying to revive tourism, which has been hit hard by the spring coronavirus restrictions. Tourism-related industries account for about a tenth of the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP), and some countries have called for borders to be opened more quickly to more non-European tourists. However, many countries are calling for more caution, fearing a second wave of the disease.