Re-opening EU borders

EU borders re-opened!

By order of March 17th of this year the EU commission had instructed all member states to close the external borders of the EU for non-EU citizens, non-residents and non-essential personnel. This closing of the border ends on July 1st. 

The Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU. Travel restrictions should be lifted for countries listed in the recommendation. This list will be reviewedevery two weeks.

Currently the following countries are on the safe list:

  • Algeria
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay
  • China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively.

Regarding the epidemiological situation, third countries listed should meet the following criteria, in particular:

  • number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average (as it stood on 15 June 2020)
  • stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days
  • overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information, including on aspects such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information and, if needed, the total average score for International Health Regulations (IHR). Information provided by EU delegations on these aspects should also be taken into account.

Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis.

If you have the citizenship of one of these countries entry into the EU is possible. Do bear in mind that normal visa requirements still apply. Ergo if your citizenship requires a visa for entry to enter the EU, then you will first need to turn the Dutch embassy for a visa application

For questions about the re-opening of the borders, please contact one of our attorneys, call (020 6161487) or by email (