Published on : Monday, June 29, 2020
The external border of the European Union is expected to begin reopening by July 1. In light of the decision, the EU drafted a list of the countries with a better epidemiological situation in order to allow citizens of those countries to enter Europe by the end of next week. As of now, the EU is likely to reopen its borders to 14 countries including Australia, Canada, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Uruguay, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Georgia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
However, according to reports, EU officials failed to agree on a common list of the countries that would certainly be restricted from entering the block upon the reopening of the border. But sources has also confirmed that citizens of Brazil, Qatar, the U.S. and Russia would not be provided access to EU borders and can only enter Europe at a later date when the epidemiological situation of the respective countries shows an improvement. The United States is the worst-affected country in the world at present.
On the other hand, it has been decided that travellers from China would be given permission to enter the European premises only if China would provide allowance to European citizens to enter their country. Some EU countries have already requested a delay in the decision for further examination leaving the chances of a revised list open.
The current list is not entirely binding and border management continues to remain a matter of national decision. Moreover, the document is yet to be formally agreed by the Council of the European Union and final decision is likely to arrive this week. The EU Commission has considered objectives like the epidemiological situation and coronavirus response of a particular country, its ability to apply containment measures during travel and the country’s border restrictions towards EU while drafting the list.
Based on these conditions, the Commission has mentioned that the citizens of the six Western Balkan countries might be the first to benefit from the abolishment of travel restrictions. It has also recommended the Member States to consider allowing third-country nationals to enter the EU from July 1 after analysing the epidemiological situation in each third-country.