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European Union Opens Borders to Travelers from Select Countries

The European Council announced they are recommending lifting of the travel restrictions into the EU that were first implemented this past March in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. The reopening of the EU’s borders, however, is restricted to just over a dozen countries meeting specific criteria related to downward trending infection rates and thier overall response to containing COVID-19. The Council issued a list of 15 countries from which it recommends EU members accept travelers. As of July 1, the following countries are approved by the Commission for entry into the EU:

  • Algeria
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity)
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican are considered EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

The list will be reviewed and updated every two weeks. The Council’s criteria to approve countries for travel into the EU are based on each destination’s epidemiological situation and implemented containment measures, including physical distancing and other economic and social considerations.

Specifically, the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100,000 inhabitants of a country must be similar to or below the EU average as of June 15, 2020.  The trend in new cases also must be stable or decreasing compared to the previous 14 days. The Council will likewise consider the overall response to COVID-19, including testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting. Significantly, they will consider the reliability of the information, how it is gathered and reported.

EU citizens and their families, long-term EU residents and their family members, and travelers with an essential function coming from non-approved third countries are exempt from the restrictions to enter the EU. The next updated list of approved countries should be announced by July 15. Check back with the Inside Hunting section of SCI’s website or contact SCI’s Hunter Hotline for updates. Anyone with a scheduled hunt in an EU country should contact their hunting operator regarding a Plan B should they not be approved for entry to the EU in time.

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