The Council of the European Union on Tuesday recommended the gradual lifting of travel restrictions for nationals of several countries, including Serbia and Montenegro, but not for the nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The Council today adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU. Travel restrictions should be lifted for countries listed in the recommendation, with this list being reviewed and, as the case may be, updated every two weeks,” a press release said.
t said that EU member states should start lifting travel restrictions as of July 1 for residents of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay with the recommendation for China subject to confirmation of reciprocity. Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation, it added.
The EU Council press release said that “the criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations”.
“Regarding the epidemiological situation, third countries listed should meet the following criteria, in particular: the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100,000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on 15 June 2020); stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days; overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information, including on aspects such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information and, if needed, the total average score for International Health Regulations (IHR),” it said.
The press release said that the Council recommendation is not legally binding and added that the authorities in member states remain responsible for its implementation. “This list of third countries should be reviewed every two weeks and may be updated by the Council, as the case may be, after close consultations with the Commission and the relevant EU agencies and services following an overall assessment,” it said and warned that travel restrictions may be reintroduced.