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EU formally signs off continuing to ban citizens from most countries


Brussels – The European Council on Tuesday adopted a recommendation to continue banning travellers from most countries from entering the EU.

A political agreement was reached on Monday after weeks of intense negotiations on which countries to include and which ones to ban.

The council formally gave its nod on Tuesday. Perhaps most contentiously, the EU will continue to ban travellers from the United States.

Most EU countries allow foreigners to enter the EU only in exceptional circumstances, such as for permanent residents, family members of EU citizens, or diplomats.

As from Wednesday, the EU will lift its ban for 14 countries, according to a press release.

The countries to include Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

China will continue being banned unless it also allows EU citizens to enter its territory.

The list of countries will be reviewed every two weeks; But, the press release said, decisions to ban countries again could also be taken outside this schedule.

“If the situation in a listed third country worsens quickly, rapid decision making should be applied,’’ the press release said.

The decision is based on epidemiological factors, namely the number of new infections over the past two weeks, whether the trend of new infections is decreasing or stable, and the overall response of a country towards the pandemic.

The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants should be `close to or below’ the EU average, which most recently stood at about 16.

The recommendations are not legally binding. “The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation,’’ the press release added.


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