Visa Crunch

Omicron Threat: Council Of EU Removes Canada, Australia, & Argentina From Safe Third Countries List

Updating the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted, the Council of the European Union decided to remove Argentina, Australia, and Canada from it, thus, advising the Member States to reinstate travel restrictions on travellers from these three countries.

“The Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions, and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted. In particular Argentina, Australia, and Canada were removed from the list,” the statement of the Council reads.

The decision to reinstate entry rules follows the increased infection rates registered in these countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Argentina has reported 877,424 new infection cases in the last seven days.

During the same period, Australia reported 5,11,267 new cases, and Canada reported 2,62,710 new cases, as per various media reports from those countries.

Under the previous recommendation from the Council, travellers from Argentina, Australia, and Canada were able to travel to the EU Member States without being subject to strict entry restrictions.

However, in line with the new update, the three above-mentioned countries will no longer be considered as epidemiologically safe, and thus, travellers from these areas will have to follow entry rules when reaching the Member States, provided that the recommendation is adopted.

Since each EU Member State has the right to decide on its own entry rules, travellers from Argentina, Australia, and Canada may face different entry rules depending on their destination country.

Currently, all EU countries require travellers to present a valid vaccination certificate that indicates that the holder has been fully immunised against the virus. Certificates that prove that the holder has recovered from the virus are also recognised.

Except for having to provide one of the certificates mentioned above, travellers of third countries not placed on the safe list may also be required to undergo an entry test. Nonetheless, the rules vary from one country to another and the vaccination status of each traveller.

In contrast, travellers from the countries that are still part of the EU’s safe third countries list will continue to be able to travel to the Member States without being subject to strict entry rules.

Following the new update, the safe third countries list now includes:

  • Bahrain
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Indonesia
  • Kuwait
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

As all EU/Schengen Area countries continue to be highly affected by the COVID-19 disease. For this reason, everyone is advised to avoid taking any non-essential trips during this period.

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