Published: 2021-06-16 12:46
Last Updated: 2021-07-28 20:02
European Union member states have agreed to lift restrictions on travelers coming from eight countries and territories, including the United States and Lebanon, officials and diplomats said Wednesday.
The list of countries exempted from the travel ban has been expanded to include Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Lebanon, the United States, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong, the sources said.
The bloc's member states can still choose whether to require travelers from these areas to undergo COVID-19 tests or impose a quarantine. But once the new list is approved, the recommendation will be to exclude them from the general travel ban.
The European Union has closed its external borders to non-essential travel since March and has developed over the past year a periodically updated list of non-member countries whose residents are allowed to travel to Europe.
The list mainly includes Japan, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Countries can be added if less than 75 cases of Covid were recorded among every 100,000 of their population over a period of 14 days. This rate in the United States is 73.9, according to figures from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The news of adding the United States to the list came a day after Brussels and Washington emphasized strengthening relations during a summit that brought together US President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.