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European Union Lifting Travel Restrictions for Residents of Certain Countries – U.S. Not Among Them

1 Jul

Effective July 1, the EU announced that it will recommend the gradual opening of external borders and the lifting of travel restrictions for certain travelers who are residents in 15 countries. The list approved by the EU Council is based on considerations of overall COVID-19 trends worldwide, in addition to the government responses to the pandemic in each country. Notably, the United States is not included in the list of countries for which restrictions are being lifted. 

In March 2020, EU Member States implemented a restriction on non-essential travel that was extended multiple times through June 30. This restriction suspended all non-essential travel from third countries to EU Member States, in addition to the associated areas of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

With the new recommendation, residents of the following countries may enter the EU and its associated states:

  • Algeria
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand 
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay
  • China – subject to confirmation of reciprocity

Although the EU Council has published this list, it remains at the discretion of each individual EU country to determine if it will continue to keep its borders closed to travelers outside of the EU and associated states. These decisions will be made in the coming weeks. 
It is important to note that the permission of an individual to enter the EU is based on country of residence and not country of citizenship. As an example, this means that a U.S. citizen who currently resides in Australia should be permitted to enter the EU. In the reverse, an Australian citizen (or U.S. citizen) who resides in the United States would not be permitted to enter. 
Exceptions to these restrictions continue to apply for EU citizens and their family members, long-term EU residents and their family members, and travelers with an essential function or need. 
The EU Council is anticipated to review the list of countries no longer subject to restricted entry on a bi-weekly basis. If companies or individuals have planned travel to the EU in the coming weeks, it is recommended they consult with their immigration provider to ensure compliance with posted travel regulations as international travel remains unpredictable at this time. 
Foster will continue to monitor changes in global immigration laws and procedures, as well as the ongoing impacts of the EU recommendation, and will make additional updates available via our firm’s website at