The European Union Council has recommended on the 8th of October 2021, Friday, to add Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the growing list of nations where EU Covid-19 travel restrictions have been lifted.
Non-essential travel from the list of third countries below is allowed entry into the EU, with the list being reviewed and updated every two weeks, as the case may be.
- Bahrain (newly added)
- China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity)
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates (newly added)
Additionally, restrictions will be gradually lifted for Macao and Hong Kong, China’s special administrative regions. Taiwan should also be accorded the same privilege as it is classified as a territorial authority that is not recognized as a state.
The basis for granting non-EU travelers entry into member states depends on whether the country is considered epidemiologically safe or not.
Essential travel and non-essential travel from third countries on the list are allowed into the EU but there is still a need to provide a negative PCR test result not more than 72 hours before entry or a vaccination certificate.
It should be noted that the council’s recommendation is not legally binding. The implementation of the recommendation is still the responsibility of the member states and they have the sole discretion to lift the travel restrictions gradually. Schengen-associated countries such as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland have also taken part in the recommendation.