Coronavirus: EU to allow in visitors from 14 ‘safe’ countries

Welcome sign at the airport in Seville, Spain. Seville's airport resumed activity for travelers coming from abroad, together with other nine airports in the country. For travelers arriving to Spain from abroad, a 14 day quarantine is obligatory. EPA-EFE/Raul Caro

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The EU has announced the 14 countries whose citizens are deemed “safe” to be let in from 1 July, despite the pandemic still raging in parts of the world, but the US, Brazil and China are excluded.

Those named include Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco and South Korea.

The EU will also add China if the Chinese government offers a reciprocal deal for EU travellers, according to diplomats quoted by the BBC.

Many border controls have been lifted for EU citizens travelling inside the bloc. Rules for UK travellers are part of the current Brexit negotiations.
But UK nationals are still to be treated in the same way as EU citizens until the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December, the EU Commission says.

Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay have all made the list.

EU nations in the 26-member Schengen zone normally allow passport-free border crossings for EU citizens, but national authorities have reimposed restrictions in this crisis.

The UK is currently negotiating separate temporary “air bridges” with several EU member states, so that coronavirus does not totally block summer holidays – the busiest season in Europe for tourism, which employs millions of people.

A qualified majority of EU countries – at least 55% of the EU countries, representing 65% of the EU population – have signed off on list.

The British broadcaster reported that there were splits between those such as Spain – wanting to boost of tourism, but preferring to play safe because they have been hit so hard by Covid-19 – and others like Greece and Portugal, which depend on tourism but are less scarred by the virus.

Read more via BBC

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