Europe Gradually Lifts Non-essential Travel Restrictions

The European Council recommended on June 30 that all EU member states and Schengen-associated countries gradually ease restrictions on non-essential travel into Europe. 

All EU member states except Ireland restricted non-essential travel into Europe from March 17, 2020 through June in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To gradually ease this restriction, the European Council created a list of 13 third countries to permit non-essential travelers from as of July 16. These countries include Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China (if they reciprocate). 

The European Council selected these countries after studying their COVID-19 mitigation efforts over a 14-day window, particularly areas like testing and contact tracing. During the 14-day window, each country also exhibited an average number of COVID-19 cases close to or below the EU average and a stable or decreasing trend of new cases. 

The European Council will review and update the list of third countries permitted to enter Europe every two weeks. As of now, American citizens are not permitted to enter EU member states or Schengen-associated areas unless they are an essential traveler, a long-term EU resident or the family member of an EU citizen or long-term resident. For more information about who is exempted from the travel restriction, visit the European Commission’s website here

Article written by Molly Siegel on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association.