After quite some back and forth, the EU ultimately agreed on a ‘safe travel list’ including 15 third countries from where travel to Europe will be possible from 1 July.
But while Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay made the list of countries approved for leisure or business travel, there have been some notable exceptions.
The US, along with Russia, Brazil and Turkey, is among countries whose containment of the virus is considered worse than that of the EU average and which will therefore have to wait at least two weeks until the next list update.
But while Washington took the announcement rather pragmatically, Turkey said it is disappointed by the EU’s decision to exclude it from the list and called on the bloc to correct the “mistake” as soon as possible.
The EU’s latest lifting of travel measures comes as the global count of COVID-19 infections has reached some 10.3 million known cases and the World Health Organisation has warned that the pandemic is “not even close to being over”.
Which is one of the main reasons, that the freshly drawn-up list is causing problems already:
Just like with the bloc‘s slow and messy reopening of its internal borders from 15 June, the broader picture here remains inconsistent yet again, as member states are not legally obliged to follow the recommendation.
The list is to be updated every two weeks, the EU says, depending on how the health situation will progress, causing fears that the summer season might be more stressful than wished for.
Will Europe’s tourism sector survive the pandemic? And what is the EU doing in all this? Find out more in our video ‘Europe’s tourism dilemma explained‘.