EU removes US from Covid safe list for non-essential travel

The European Union on Monday removed five territories including the United States from its list of countries exempted from restrictions on non-essential travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and the United States of America were removed from the list,” a statement from the European Council said.

The recommendation from the Council, which represents member state governments, is not binding on national capitals, which may yet choose to allow fully vaccinated US travellers to visit despite concerns about rising numbers of Covid cases in the country.

But most EU members have followed Brussels’ travel advice during the crisis so far.

Non-essential travel into the bloc from outside the 27-member EU and eight associated countries — Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican — has been restricted.

Some countries and territories, however, have been exempted from this list, but their number has been shrinking in recent months and now includes only 17 members, plus China if Beijing reciprocates.

“This list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated,” the statement said.

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