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:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- New Zealand
- Saint Lucia
- South Korea
- Vatican City
“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