According to diplomatic sources, EU Committee of Permanent Representatives yesterday approved a draft list of 18 countries, to whom the European Union’s borders will start re-opening on July 1.
The list includes Argelia, Australia, Balkanes states, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zelannd, Ruanda, Serbia, South Korea, Uruguay, Vaticano. However, according to the sources, the consultations with China were still ongoing.
Russia and the United States were not included into the list, in line with epidemiological criteria.
The document is yet to be formally agreed by the Council of the European Union next week.
The list of countries that is currently being drafted by the EU will be reviewed regularly and will be expanded later.
Earlier, the European Commission called on all member states to reopen all domestic borders by June 15. Moreover, it recommended to give a go-ahead to gradual lifting of restrictions on foreign travel starting with July 1. At the same time, the EU regulations stipulate that it is up to national governments to make decisions on border-crossing and travel issues rather than EU bodies.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 9,724,100 people have been infected worldwide and more than 492,000 deaths have been reported. (eTN)