EU gradually lifts travel restrictions, keeping US and Russia out

EU gradually lifts travel restrictions, keeping US and Russia out

On 30th June 2020, the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation upon the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, excluding US, Russia, Brazil and Turkey from the accepted list, since their coronavirus infection rates are deemed worse than the EU average (https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/06/30/council-agrees-to-start-lifting-travel-restrictions-for-residents-of-some-third-countries/).

In light of the above, travel restrictions should be lifted for countries listed in the recommendation, whereby the list will be reviewed and updated every two weeks.

As of 1st July, and based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, EU Member States should begin to lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of certain third countries – Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.

It should also be noted that China has been allowed to enter the EU, but pending reciprocity, meaning when China will allow EU countries to enter their country (https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/07/01/the-official-eu-coronavirus-safe-travel-list/).

The residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation (https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/06/30/council-agrees-to-start-lifting-travel-restrictions-for-residents-of-some-third-countries/).

It is important to point out that the Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. As such, 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.

On Monday, 29th June 2020, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus issued the latest list of countries that are allowed entry into Cyprus, separating them into categories A and B, based on the rate of transmission, deaths and reported cases. Category C countries are the countries that are not listed in Category A nor B (https://www.financialmirror.com/2020/06/30/covid19-arrivals-from-high-risk-countries-must-self-isolate/).

Countries of Category A include Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Japan, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, and South Korea. Visitors from Category A countries are not required to provide a negative Covid-19 test (https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/country-categories).

Countries of Category B include Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Poland, Romania, and the UAE. Visitors from countries in Category B need proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to boarding their flight to Cyprus.

On Friday, 3rd July 2020, the Minister of Health, Mr. Constantinos Ioannou announced that, as of 1st August, United Kingdom will be placed as a Category B country, provided its epidemiological profile remains positive (https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/07/03/coronavirus-uk-to-be-moved-into-category-b-countries-from-august-1/).

All passengers, irrespective of which category they fall under, are required to fill out the form on the government website https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/.