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EU May Open Borders to Chinese Travelers
Published on: 2020-06-30
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Passengers wait at Milan Malpensa International Airport on June 15Passengers wait at Milan Malpensa International Airport on June 15

The European Union may grant access to visitors from China on the condition that Beijing reciprocates, according to the latest plan proposed by senior EU diplomats Saturday, as the bloc works towards gradually lifting border restrictions after months of lockdown.

Brussels is also ready to bar travelers from dozens of other countries due to concerns over their handling of the virus, according to media reports.

Countries across Europe are looking to open their borders this month from low risk locationsCountries across Europe are looking to open their borders this month from 'low risk' locations

Those measures are part of a draft plan which includes a “safe countries” list as a guide for the 27 member states to reopen their borders, although the final decision will remain in the hands of national governments.

The final list has yet to come out as the member states had not reached an agreement by Saturday evening, but the currently proposed “safe” list contains 14 countries — Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay — and China under reciprocal conditions.

The list would be updated every two weeks based on how well the countries contain the epidemic. Countries will be judged on at least three criteria: countries should have infection rates below or similar to the EU average, have containment measures during travel, and lift travel restrictions towards the bloc in turn.

Restrictions would remain in place for countries where the coronavirus still rages. Russia, Brazil and the United States are considered too risky by EU bureaucrats, and travelers from the three countries will remain barred from entering the EU, at least in the short term.

The European Commission on June 11 recommended its member states gradually remove the “temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU” from July 1 as infections in the continent subside, three months after it closed external borders to halt the spread of the coronavirus.






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