After a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council has updated the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted.
In making the announcement, it noted that as stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.
In a release, the Council indicated that based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from Dec. 16, 2020 member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
* China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao, 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.
The Council’s release notes 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.
They are applied cumulatively. Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis.
Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.