New border rules of the EU mean for travelers

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(CNN) – The european Union has officially approved a set of recommendations that will enable travellers from outside the block to visit the countries of the EU, months after closing its external borders in response to the epidemic of Covid-19. As was widely expected, the list of 14 countries not including the United States, where the rate of infection Covid current does not meet the criteria set by the EU for it to be considered a ” safe country “.

The criteria require that the confirmed cases of the Covid in the countries in the list are similar to or lower than those of the EU per 100 000 citizens in the last 14 days (from 15 June).

The countries must also have a ” trend stable or declining new cases during this period compared to the previous 14 days “, while the EU will examine the actions that countries are taking, such as research contacts, and the reliability of data of each nation.

The United States has not only the highest number of coronavirus infections reported in all countries, currently 2 590 582, but also the largest number of deaths, 126 141, according to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University.

The rate of infection in the United States will fall considerably if Americans should be allowed to enter in the european countries, as the tourism industry european between in what is traditionally its month of peak demand.

The recommendations are expected to enter into force as from the 1st of July, but it is up to member States to decide exactly how to implement the changes to border policy.

Here are the answers to some key questions on the new rules:

What countries are on the list?

The list of countries included in the recommendations is: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.

China, where the virus originates, is not on the initial list of 14, but the EU is willing to place on this list if the chinese government does the same thing and allow the european citizens to enter its borders.

If your country is not on the list, you are officially banned from entering the EU?

Officially, no. The european Union has control of the national borders of any member State. However, no country should deviate from the recommendations to allow access to a larger group of nations and will most likely limit travel from countries from the list.

If your country is not on the list, but that you live in a country appearing on the list, can you still travel to the EU?

According to the guidelines, ” to decide whether the temporary restriction of the travel is non-essential to the EU applies to third-country nationals, the residence in a third country to which travel restrictions on non-essential have been removed, should be the determining factor (and not nationality). ”

Can you travel through another country to circumvent the rules?

No, for the same reason as above. You will be judged depending on your place of residence, rather than where you come from.

This will be implemented by the airlines and the airports?

The Council of the EU stressed that “the member States remain responsible for the implementation of the content of the recommendation”, which means that this will vary from one country to the other. The best thing to do here is to contact your national office of foreign affairs or the embassy of the country in which you wish to travel.

What is the flexibility of the recommendations?

It really depends on how you read it. The criteria and recommendations for the implementation are very clear, but there is an annex in the guidelines, which covers the passengers with ” a feature or an essential need “. This includes everything from seasonal agricultural workers to diplomats. If you want to check for yourself, scroll to page 10 of this document

When the list will it update?

The list should be revised every two weeks, but the european diplomats have pointed out to CNN that the criteria and the methodology are “extremely unlikely” to change. This means that for a country to be considered safe, its figures Covid must be lower than those of the EU over the last 14 days.

How this would affect the travellers of the United Kingdom?

Travellers from the Uk are included in what the EU calls its “EU +” and will be included if the governments of the United Kingdom decide to align.

The “EU +” refers to all States members of the zone of Schengen visas (including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania), as well as the four States associated with Schengen. It also includes Ireland and the United Kingdom if they decide to align.

Are there any exemptions?

Travellers in countries that are not on the list may still apply if they fall within the following exemptions: citizens of the EU or members of the family of a citizen of the EU; long-term residents of the EU or members of the family; those who have “a feature or an essential need,” as diplomats, health workers or certain agricultural workers.

Some countries are excluded for political reasons?

EU officials had previously stressed to CNN that the decisions taken this week are not political, but based on scientific data and is intended only to protect citizens against the resurgence of the virus across the continent. However, these same officials are awaiting the response of the american president Donald Trump, who has already attacked the EU on other issues such as trade and foreign policy.

This story has been updated to clarify the guidelines of the EU on third-country nationals.

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