Travelers allowed within the EU: Morocco removed from the "safe" countries list

Published by Julie de Sortiraparis, Caroline de Sortiraparis · Published on August 17th, 2020 at 10:18 a.m.
France and other EU state members have announced to gradually reopen their external Schengen borders from July 1, 2020 to 14 countries. Since then, the list has been shortened and now includes 11 countries. Algeria and Morocco have been recently excluded from the list. The European Union considered both countries were no longer "safe" in light of increasing Covid-19 cases.

As France has reopened its borders to EU travelers on June 15, it announces the external Schengen borders will reopen from July 1, 2020.

Minister of the Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and Secretary of the Interior Christophe Castaner have announced in the night from Friday June 12 to Saturday 13, in a joint press release. The two ministers added "this opening will be progressive and different depening on the health situation of the different countries, in compliance with the modalities set on a European level until then".

The list of requirements to held to open the borders has been set up this Friday June 26, in the evening. This proposition will get voted this Monday. According to the proposition, several epidemiologic criteria are to be held to be on the list of countries authorized to land un the European Union, especially in case the rate of new Covid-19 cases is close to or below 16 for 100,000 inhabitants (the average in the EU) out of the past 2 weeks, including a decreasing novel cases trend, and the existnece of measures implemented to fight against the pandemic. Earlier in July, the list included 14 countries.

Yet, because of increasing Covid-19 cases in several of these countries, several of them have been excluded from the list naming Algeria and Morocco. From now on, only travelers coming from 11 countries are allowed to enter the European Union.

Note this decision does not apply to EU citizens and their family members coming from this country, nor to long-term EU residents and their family.

The list proposed now includes 11 countries including AustraliaCanadaGeorgiaJapanMontenegroNew-ZealandRwandaSouth KoreaThailandTunisia, and Uruguay. Has been added China if it agrees with reciprocity.

For the record, the Schengen Area has been closed to the world since March 17, 2020 and is said to remain so at least until June 15. This decision was made during a European Council. But if the Schengen Borders Code imposes countries to act in a coordinated way, in March, the countries have closed their borders to the rest of the world unilaterally, because the closure of the borders remains the authority of the state members.

By the way, Greece has reopened its airports to flights from China, New Zealand, and South Korea on June 15, as the European Union was planning a joint calendar to reopen from July 1. The undergoal was to launch – and save – the tourism season, as countries are launching aid funds for the sector badly impacted by the hold of world travels.

According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the return to normal of the world circulation rules will not return by September.

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