Today, the European Union is opening its borders to a number of non-EU countries. After weeks of negotiations, an agreement between member states has been reached.

EU citizens may now travel to fourteen countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and South Korea. Citizens of those countries may also travel to the EU. China is also on this list, but it’s not yet clear if they will allow EU citizens to enter the country. Morocco may also not let EU citizens in yet, as it plans on opening its borders only on July 10.

Travellers from the US will be banned for the time being. The EU holds that the virus is insufficiently under control there. The list of “allowed” countries will be reviewed and updated every two weeks on the basis of the latest coronavirus figures.

Disagreement among member states

Coming up with this list took quite a while, as the EU was split into two camps: those who wanted to let in as many people as possible, and those who were more hesitant about the whole thing. Greece, Spain and Italy were in the former camps, as their tourism industries are still suffering. Poland, Denmark and Austria were among the more hesitant countries, raising questions about whether the figures non-EU countries were releasing could be trusted.

There is, of course, no independent international body checking the figures that countries release: the WHO just collects them. In the end, according to a diplomat who spoke to NOS, it just comes down to trust.

Another reason for the delay in deciding on this list was the specific wishes that different countries had: France, for example, wanted an exception to be made for French-speaking countries, and Bulgaria made a strong case for Turkey, which was ultimately rejected as it does not have the virus sufficiently under control.

Are you planning on visiting a non-EU country this summer? Let us know in the comments below.


Feature Image: hpgreusen/Pixabay


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