Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of temporary restrictions on non-essential travel in the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted. As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed every two weeks and, if necessary, updated.

Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, from 18 June 2021, Member States should gradually lift travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:

  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Lebanon
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • united states of america
  • China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

Travel restrictions are also set to be gradually lifted for China’s special administrative regions. Hong Kong and Macau. The condition of reciprocity for these special administrative regions has been lifted.

In the category of entities and territorial authorities not recognized as States by at least one Member State, travel restrictions for Taiwan should also be gradually lifted.

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered EU residents for the purposes of this recommendation.

the Criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted were updated on May 20, 2021. They cover the epidemiological situation and the overall response to COVID-19, as well as the reliability of information and sources of data available. Reciprocity must also be taken into account on a case-by-case basis.

The Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also participate in this recommendation.

Background

On 30 June 2020, the Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of temporary restrictions on non-essential travel within the EU. This recommendation included a first list of countries for which Member States should start lifting travel restrictions at the external borders. The list is reviewed every two weeks and, if necessary, updated.

On May 20, the Council adopted an amending recommendation to respond to the current vaccination campaigns by introducing certain exemptions for people vaccinated and by relaxing the criteria for lifting the restrictions for third countries. At the same time, the changes take into account the potential risks posed by the new variants by putting in place an emergency braking mechanism to react quickly to the emergence of an interesting or worrying variant in a third country.

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the Member States remain responsible for the implementation of the content of the recommendation. They can only gradually lift travel restrictions to the countries listed.

A Member State should not decide to lift travel restrictions for unlisted third countries until this has been decided in a coordinated manner.



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