The European Union (EU) on Thurs. (Oct. 22) released its official revised list of countries whose residents should be exempt from travel restrictions.
Confirming what various media previously reported, Canada is no longer on the list.
The new list shows that Canada, in addition to Georgia and Tunisia, has been removed.
:Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 22 October member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries," the EU Council stated, listing:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.
The EU Council underlines that the "list of third countries in respect of which restrictions should be lifted" will continue to be regularly reviewed and will be updated as necessary.
It should be noted that even though the European Union advocates a coordinated approach to border management for its members, they retain full authority over their borders.
"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," the EU stated.
As for Canada, the EU Council does not specify under what criteria exactly it was removed from the revised list of countries exempt from travel restrictions.
Remember, Canada has never applied reciprocity with EU countries.
On Oct 1st, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, announced a further extension (until October 31) of existing restrictions on international travel from countries other than United States to Canada.
However, countries still on the EU list, such as Japan or Thailand, do not allow EU travellers access to their territory either (with some exceptions). It therefore seems that it is not only the only criterion of reciprocity which excludes Canada from the revised list.
Canada is currently in the middle of a second wave of COVID-19, posting more than 203,000 cases.
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