“The Council of the European Union, after much prevarication, has let go and delivered a list of countries with a recommendation on the gradual lifting of temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU. Travel restrictions should be lifted for the countries listed in the recommendation, with the list reviewed and, if necessary, updated every two weeks. Of course, this assumes that the countries in question have also lifted their restrictions on French nationals.
On the basis of the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as of 1 July, Member States should start lifting travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries
- New Zealand
- Serbia and Montenegro
- South Korea
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City should be considered EU residents for the purposes of this recommendation.
The criteria for determining the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical removal, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively.
For countries where travel restrictions continue to apply, the following categories of persons should be exempt from the restrictions:
- EU citizens and their family members
- EU long-term residents and their family members
- Travelers with an essential function or need, as indicated in the recommendation.
- The Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also participate in this recommendation.
Member States may revisit this list
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, in full transparency, only gradually lift travel restrictions to the listed countries.
A Member State should not decide to lift travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.
This list of third countries should be reviewed every two weeks and may be updated by the Council, as appropriate, after close consultations with the Commission and relevant EU agencies and services following an overall assessment based on the above criteria.
Travel restrictions may be fully or partially lifted or reintroduced for a specific third country already listed depending on the evolution of certain conditions and therefore on the assessment of the epidemiological situation. If the situation in a listed third country deteriorates rapidly, rapid decision making should be applied.”