EU removes Israel, US from COVID-19 safe-travel list

The European Union on Monday removed Israel, the United States and four other countries from its COVID-19 safe-travel list, meaning that travelers from those countries could now face increased restrictions.

Removal from the list is a non-binding recommendation, however, and the E.U.’s 27 member nations can decide individually whether to follow it. Tourists should therefore “expect a mishmash of travel rules across the continent,” AP reported.

The other countries that have been taken off the list due to spiking coronavirus infection rates are Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

On June 30, 2020, the European Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the European Union. The list is reviewed and updated regularly.

Seventeen countries remain on the safe list, including Japan, Canada and New Zealand, in addition to China, which is listed on condition of reciprocity.

Most non-E.U. visitors who are fully vaccinated are still allowed in by the bloc, though various restrictions can apply depending on the country, including quarantines and testing, according to Reuters.

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