Sri Lanka not among 54 countries eligible to travel to EU by July

After four months of travel bans, Europe will soon officially be open to visitors from some 54 countries.

Sri Lanka has not been included in the draft list of 54 countries that will benefit from the reopening of the European Union external borders, which is expected to happen by the beginning of July.

Ahead of its official release later this week, which is expected to be implemented after July 1, EU officials said the list will be updated according to the epidemiological situation and response to coronavirus in each country, the ability to apply containment measures during travel and whether or not the country concerned has lifted travel restrictions towards the EU.

Nationals of the following countries are listed in this draft list:

  1. Albania
  2. Algeria
  3. Andorra
  4. Angola
  5. Australia
  6. Bahamas
  7. Bhutan
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  9. Canada
  10. China
  11. Costa Rica
  12. Cuba
  13. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  14. Dominica
  15. Egypt
  16. Ethiopia
  17. Georgia
  18. Guyana
  19. India
  20. Indonesia
  21. Jamaica
  22. Japan
  23. Kazakhstan
  24. Kosovo
  25. Lebanon
  26. Mauritius
  27. Monaco
  28. Mongolia
  29. Montenegro
  30. Morocco
  31. Mozambique
  32. Myanmar
  33. Namibia
  34. New Zealand
  35. Nicaragua
  36. Palau
  37. Paraguay
  38. Rwanda
  39. Saint Lucia
  40. Serbia
  41. South Korea
  42. Tajikistan
  43. Thailand
  44. Tunisia
  45. Turkey
  46. Turkmenistan
  47. Uganda
  48. Ukraine
  49. Uruguay
  50. Uzbekistan
  51. Vatican City
  52. Venezuela
  53. Vietnam
  54. Zambia

The European Union has an internal process to determine from which countries it would be safe to accept travellers,” EU Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said last Thursday, adding that its decisions are “based on health criteria.”

On June 11, the Commission presented its recommendation on the reopening of internal Schengen borders on June 15, so that Europeans can travel within the borderless area freely, just as they did pre-pandemic.

At the same time, the Commission recommended that the Member States should start allowing third-country nationals to enter the EU starting from July 1, gradually and partially, based on the epidemiological situation in each third-country.

The Commission recommended the following objective criteria for the Member States, when drafting the list of countries, the citizens of which may visit the EU after July 1:

  • epidemiological situation and coronavirus response in that country,
  • the ability to apply containment measures during travel, an
  • whether or not that country has lifted travel restrictions towards the EU.

Based on these conditions, the Commission recommended that the nationals of the six Western Balkan countries should be the first to benefit from the abolishment of travel restrictions, all of which are in the above list