The European Council (which brings together the governments of the 27 members of the European Union) has expanded from 8 to 12 the list of countries from which travelers can enter the bloc freely, opening its doors to those coming from the United States . The UK, despite having a lower rate of new coronavirus cases than the US, was not included because it had a significant increase in cases of the delta variant, which is more contagious.
The new relationship takes into account a relaxation of the criteria used to ban entry from outside the EU, on May 20, and applies to the Schengen area (which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The maximum threshold established is 75 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days (in Brazil, the most recent number calculated by the European Center for Disease Control is 443 / 100,000, up).
In addition to the contagion and screening rate, the actions to fight the pandemic and the provision of reliable data are evaluated. Based on these criteria, as of this Friday, Albania, Japan, Lebanon, North Macedonia and Serbia, in addition to the United States, have been included in the EU white list. Australia, South Korea, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore and Thailand were already part of the group, in addition to China — offering reciprocity.
The Council also approved the reopening for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican were already considered European citizens for travel rules.
Whitelisting means that non-essential travel is allowed for any passenger, whether or not they have been vaccinated. In these cases, a negative test for the coronavirus will be required.
Council recommendations are non-binding, which means that member states remain responsible for deciding entry rules for citizens from outside the EU, both to maintain bans and measures such as quarantines and to lift restrictions. The regulations in force can be consulted on the open.europa.eu website of the European Union.
The countries in the bloc can also remove the need for testing and quarantines for travelers from any country that has received the recommended doses of a vaccine authorized by the European regulatory agency – AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen – or by the ‘WHO – in addition to these. four, Coronavac and Synopharm.
Spain and Greece, for example, have already allowed entry for British tourists, and Germany has announced that it will open it to anyone fully immunized with vaccines approved in the EU, except in those countries. places where disturbing variations are relevant.
The readmission of foreign tourists is seen as fundamental for countries like Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Croatia, which earn a significant share of their income during the European summer, but increase the risk of spread of the delta variant, according to epidemiologists.
For them, it is necessary to accelerate the vaccination campaigns to avoid a new peak of cases.