European Union governments agreed on Wednesday to add Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia to their safe travel list of countries; from which they will allow non-essential travel.
It is the list of safe countries from an epidemiological point of view, whose citizens can travel to the European Union for pleasure.
Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 countries approved the addition of the United States and five other countries at a meeting on Wednesday. Therefore, the change will take effect in the coming days.
Albania, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Serbia and Taiwan will make the list. Meanwhile Chinese administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau will make the list with a requirement for reciprocity removed.
EU countries will gradually to lift restrictions for the current eight countries on the list; Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Decisions are individual
Individual EU countries can still opt to demand a negative COVID-19 test or a period of quarantine.
The EU updates the safe travel list every two weeks.
To determine which country to add to the list, the EU considers the epidemiological situation. And also the response to COVID-19; as well as the reliability and availability of information.
But this new EU recommendation could go one step further in allowing foreign tourists to visit with only a negative test and avoid the need for a period of quarantine. It is now up to the individual EU countries to decide how they will implement the guidelines and allow tourists to enter. Travelers should confirm the rules on their intended destination before flying, regardless of being in the safe travel list.
Individual EU nations have taken their own measures to open up travel to international visitors.
Several EU member countries have already opened their doors, including Greece, Italy and Spain to visitors from outside the EU, with proof of a vaccine, proof of a recent, negative Covid-19 test, or a combination of both.