The EU Council now recommends only essential travelers and vaccinated persons from the United States be allowed into the EU, removing the U.S. from its list of countries for which restrictions should be lifted.
Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, 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, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and the United States of America were removed from the list.
Non-essential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed in Annex I is subject to temporary travel restriction. This is without prejudice to the possibility for member states to lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travellers.
As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.
The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed. A member state should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.
On 30 June 2020 the Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU. On 20 May, the Council adopted an amending recommendation to respond to the ongoing vaccination campaigns by introducing certain waivers for vaccinated persons and easing the criteria to lift restrictions for third countries. At the same time, the amendments take into account the possible risks posed by new variants by setting out an emergency brake mechanism to quickly react to the emergence of a variant of interest or concern in a third country.