For quite some time, non-essential travel to the European Union (EU) has been restricted due to COVID-19. As a result, reports estimated a decline in traffic throughout the European airspace of up to 75% when compared to 2019. However, this is expected to change soon. As of July 1st, the Council of the EU has agreed to lift non-essential travel restrictions for individuals originating from non-EU countries on a recommended list.
The recommended list, which will be reviewed and updated every two weeks, lifts the ban on travel from countries that meet certain criteria. The number of new COVID-19 cases since the last review, the overall response to test, contain, treat, and report COVID-19 cases, and reciprocity are all considered. Currently, the list includes Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. Additionally, China is under review due to reciprocity measures and remains subject to confirmation. Please note that the United States is not presently listed as recommended.
For countries that do not meet the standards, exemptions may still apply. EU citizens and their family members, long-term EU residents and their family members, and travelers with an essential function or need within the EU should be exempted if travelling from countries not on the recommended list. Each European Union member state will be responsible for implementing the recommendations as they see fit.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, a non-EU member, has a separate approach. After July 6th, the UK Government will allow travelers to visit certain European countries without the need to quarantine afterwards. They are implementing an reciprocal “Air Bridge” program wherein each EU country will be classified as green, amber, or red by the prevalence of COVID-19 within that country. This guidance is expected to be indefinite, however any sudden outbreaks in a certain country could lead to reinforced restrictions.
To get the latest information on any specific destinations, please call our COVID-19 Operations Desk at +1 713.430.7512 or US toll-free at 1.888.299.1711. Our team members are available 24/7 to provide the guidance you need.