The Member States of the European Union have not yet been able to agree on a list of third countries where the level of infection with the coronavirus COVID-19 can be considered safe, which would allow their residents to come to Europe for a holiday in July.
Agence France-Presse has learned from diplomatic sources in Brusselsthat the ambassadors of the European Union and the Schengen area have been given additional time until this Monday to agree on a list of "safe" States.
So far, it has included fourteen countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Montenegro, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China can be added to them, provided that Beijing agrees to open its borders to tourists from the European Union, as well as Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican and San Marino.
The list does not include the United States, as the country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as Brazil and Russia.
While border control remains the responsibility of each state, the European Union will strive to coordinate its efforts as much as possible on the issue of which countries should be allowed to enter the territory of the community due to the lifting of restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19 and the resumption of free movement in the Schengen area.
Travel to the EU by tourists from third countries is prohibited from mid-March. This forced measure is due to be phased out from July 1, and many EU States are seeking to open their borders to as many foreign tourists as possible.
The EU Executive, for its part, suggested that countries where the number of new cases of COVID-19 does not exceed 16 per 100,000 inhabitants should be considered "safe". However, a number of EU States considered the reliability of epidemiological data provided by third countries, in particular China, to be "problematic".