Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: European Council recommends lifting travel ban for 11 non-EU countries as of Sept. 7; travelers from other countries remain prohibited.

Alert Begins 07 Sep 2020 02:14 PM UTC
Alert Expires 05 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): EU nations plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
The European Council has issued a revised list of countries for which Schengen member states should relax entry restrictions as of Sept. 7. Non-EU residents have been denied nonessential entry to the EU since March 17 as part of the bloc's measures to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities have removed Morocco from the list of approved countries due to the worsening epidemiological situation in the country; no countries were added to the list. The following countries are on the approved list for travel:

Australia

 

·  Canada

·  Georgia

·  Japan

·  New Zealand

·  Rwanda

·  South Korea

·  Thailand

·  Tunisia

·  Uruguay

·  China (pending, provided they implement a reciprocal travel arrangement)


Countries participating in the measure comprise the so-called "EU+ Area," which includes all EU Schengen Area member states; non-Schengen EU members Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania; and the four non-EU Schengen-associated states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The European Council's recommendation is advisory only; individual member states retain the authority to unilaterally deny travel from countries on the approved list or to permit travel with countries not on the approved list. The list of approved countries will be reviewed every two weeks.

Non-EU citizens from countries not included on the approved list remain prohibited from entry. Citizens of the UK are being treated as EU citizens until the end of the Brexit transition period Dec. 31. Persons exempted from the restrictions include family members of EU nationals, diplomats, foreigners with legal residency permits, cross-border and healthcare workers, and truck drivers transporting freight.

Advice
Prospective travelers from countries on the approved list should check for possible additional restrictions imposed by the destination country prior to booking travel. Persons from countries not on the approved list should postpone travel to the countries participating in the closure. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent COVID-19, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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