Update on the list of countries with open borders
The European Council shared on 16 July an updated list of countries with which Schengen borders should slowly start reopening.
The initial list released at the end of June contained 14 countries + China (*subject to confirmation of reciprocity). The list has now been reduced to 12 countries (+ China*). Serbia and Montenegro have now been taken off, in light of current development of the Covid-19 pandemic in these countries.
The list is accordingly as follows (and due to be reviewed every two weeks):
Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay – China*.
The EU Council has also added the following in the list of people who should be allowed entry even if they come from a country still restricted:
– EU citizens and their family members, regardless whether or not they are returning home
– Long-term EU residents and their family members
– Travellers with an essential function or need, as listed in the recommendation.
It is to be reminded that this communication from the European Council is not a legally binding instrument, and Member States are free to decide whether they want to follow the recommendation, partially, in full, if at all.
During the first weeks of July, we have seen various approaches taken by the Schengen States, resulting in some inconsistency across the countries, in terms of countries open. Additionally, the processing of visa applications for “essential workers” vary from country to country and some have not added this category into the list of authorised travellers, if originated from restricted countries.
As reminded by the EU Council, a Member State should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.
To secure your travel to a Schengen State, it is highly recommended to make contact with our local experts, whom will be able to advise on the national position.
If you have any queries, please feel free to contact us:
Western Europe cluster
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