EU Council Recommends Removal of Argentina, Australia and Canada from the EU Safe Travel List
On 17 January 2022, the EU Council decided that it would no longer recommend the removal of international travel restrictions for people coming to the EU from Argentina, Canada, and Australia.
Therefore, the list of countries whose international travel restrictions to the EU should be eased includes Bahrain, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and China (if the Chinese authorities confirm reciprocity). China’s special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, as well as the territorial authority of Taiwan, are included in the list, too.
The list can be found in Annex I of the Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/912 on the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU and the possible lifting of such restriction.
On 30 June 2020, the EU Council built a list of countries to which it recommends the gradual removal of non-essential travel restrictions into the European Union. Since then, the list has been reviewed and corrected several times after bi-weekly re-evaluations of each territory’s sanitary situation.
The statistics that the EU Council takes into account to make the list are the vaccination status of the population of each country, the spread of variants of concern in that area, and the COVID-19 infection rates in a more general way. It also takes into account the reciprocity and the reliability of the available data and the sources that provide it.
After gathering all this information, the EU Council then decides on whether a country should stay on the list or not.
What does this imply for Argentina, Australia, and Canada?
If the EU countries follow the Council’s recommendation, people traveling to these countries from Australia, Canada, and Argentina may face more strict travel rules, such as:
- An obligation to fill out certain forms to register the international visitor’s entry. The specific form depends on the EU country. For example, Germany has a digital registration on entry.
- An obligation to present a valid vaccination certificate that shows a complete vaccination schedule. What is considered a complete vaccination schedule also depends on the EU country. For example, Spain only considers the vaccination schedule complete when the traveler has three doses and at least one of them must be a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
- Alternatively, some countries may accept a certificate of recovery (usually 6 months old at most) or a recent COVID-19 diagnostic test with negative results.
- Additional restrictions may apply if the traveler is unable to present proof of vaccination or proof of recovery (such as travel quarantine or entry ban for non-essential travel).
Failing to comply with each country’s travel requirements may end in denial of entry.
Who takes part in this recommendation?
The EU Council’s recommendation is not legally binding, but it’s meant to be considered by the 27 member states of the European Union.
Schengen-associated countries can also take part in the recommendation. These countries are Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland. The residents of microstates of Andorra, the Vatican, San Marino, and Monaco are deemed as EU residents in this case, even though these countries are not officially part of the European Union.