The European Union has decided to remove Canada, Australia, and Argentina from its safe travel list, which means that it is advising its Member States to reinstate travel restrictions on travellers from these three countries.
“The Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions, and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted. In particular Argentina, Australia and Canada were removed from the list,” a statement from the European Council reads.
Non-essential travel to the EU from these countries is therefore subject to temporary restrictions, the Council states.
It should be noted, however, that this is not a legally binding decision and that it is up to each individual EU member state to decide if it will, in fact, follow the EU’s recommendation.
“The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed,” the European Council’s statement reads.
The EU’s travel safe list is a list of countries to and from which it proposes member should allow travel into the EU for non-essential purposes. The EU has been updating this list every two weeks since June 30, 2020.
Canada no longer “epidemiologically safe"
The decision to reinstate entry rules follows increased infection rates registered in Canada and the other countries removed.
Canada, for one, reported has 262,710 new cases of COVID-19 in the past seven days. In contrast, Australia, during this same period, reported 511,267 new cases and Argentina reported 877,424.
Under the previous recommendation from the Council, travellers from Canada were able to travel to the EU Member States without facing strict entry restrictions.
However, with this latest update, Canada will no longer be considered as “epidemiologically safe,” and thus, travellers will have to follow entry rules when reaching the Member States if the EU’s recommendation is adopted, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Currently, all EU countries require a valid proof of vaccination. Certificates that prove that one has recovered from COVID-19 are also recognized.
Travellers from countries that are not on the safe list may also be required to undergo an entry test, but the rules, of course, vary between countries.
Countries that are currently on the EU’s safe list include Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity, which also includes the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao).