The complete list finalized on Friday includes Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia , Uruguay, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican. China will be included if it also opens its borders to travelers from the European Union, since reciprocal reopening is one of the criteria used to make the final selection of the safe list.
Britain, although it left the EU, is still considered to be part of the bloc until the end of the year, and therefore was not part of the discussion on outside visitors.
A detailed guide to criteria shared by diplomats and reviewed this week by the New York Times said the list should only include countries with “comparable or better than average epidemiological status in the EU + area”, and that data from these countries must be credible and demonstrate a robust system to contain the virus.
The term “EU +” refers to the European Union plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which do not belong to the EU. but are normally part of its open border area.
The criteria for exceptions to the safe list have also been detailed in the guide, adding flexibility. They were health workers, diplomats, aid workers, transit passengers, asylum seekers and students, as well as “passengers traveling for imperative family reasons” and foreign workers whose employment in Europe is considered essential.