The Council of the European Union (EU) recommended yesterday to Member States to gradually lift travel restrictions to nine third countries, advising in particular to resume connections to the administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong, provided that through reciprocity.
In a statement, the Council reports that it has updated the “list of [third] countries for which travel restrictions must be resumed”, as agreed by Member States last June when adopting a recommendation on the gradual lifting of temporary restrictions non-essential travel to the EU at the time of the covid-19 pandemic.
In this context, and “based on the criteria and conditions” established in that recommendation, the structure in which the countries are represented argues that “Member States should gradually lift travel restrictions at the external borders” for nine countries, namely for “the regions Chinese special administrative bodies – Hong Kong and Macau – subject to confirmation of reciprocity ”.
It is also in this condition of reciprocity that China remains on the list, that is, until the Asian country reopens its borders to the EU.
Then, there are nine third countries covered, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay.
From outside, countries such as the United States, Russia, India and Brazil continue, as well as all African Portuguese Speaking Countries (PALOP) and Timor-Leste, which in fact have never been part of this ‘green list’, given the epidemiological situation.
In the press release released today, the EU Council recalls that “the criteria for determining third countries for which the current travel restriction must be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distance, as well as as economic and social considerations ”.
“These criteria are applied cumulatively. Reciprocity must also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis ”, the structure adds.
In order to draw up this list of third countries to allow connections to be resumed to Europe, criteria were determined such as the number of cases of contagion in the last 14 days – and per 100,000 inhabitants – being identical or below the EU average, there will be a stabilization or reduction in the trend of new cases in this period compared to the previous 14 days and the global response to the pandemic, taking into account aspects such as the tests carried out, containment measures, surveillance and treatments.
Exempt from these restrictions on travel from third countries to the EU are European citizens and family members, long-term residents in the Union and their families and travelers with special functions or needs.
This article is available in: Português