Update: COVID-19 Entry Restrictions to the European Union Relaxed

July 02, 2020

We have summarized recommendations made by the European Council for an easement of restrictions for certain residents from July 1, 2020.

The European Council has recommended that from July 1, 2020, EU countries allow entry for nonessential travel to residents (not nationals) from the following countries:

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

This is in addition to residents of Andorra, San Marino, Vatican City, and Monaco.

These countries have a coronavirus (COVID-19) infection rate similar to or lower than the EU average, and will allow EU travelers to enter their territory (i.e., have a reciprocal agreement). The European Council’s recommendation is not mandatory and individual EU and Schengen Area countries will now decide whether to follow this advice. Travelers from these countries may be subject to quarantine measures, provided these also apply to nationals of the EU member state imposing them. As the United Kingdom has now left the European Union, these recommendations do not apply to the United Kingdom and there is currently no travel ban in place for travelers entering the United Kingdom, although travelers may be subject to quarantine measures.

Residents of other countries will remain barred from entry in the European Union and Schengen Area until the infection rate in their country of origin improves, unless covered by a specific exemption, such as an essential worker. Most notably, residents of Brazil, Russia, and the United States are not on the first iteration of the European Council’s recommendation list.

The list will be reviewed every two weeks using the European Commission’s checklist, which analyses the COVID-19 infection rate against the EU average as well as reciprocal travel agreements.

The European Council has recommended that the following categories of people should be exempt from the restrictions:

  • EU citizens and their family members;
  • long-term EU residents and their family members; and
  • travellers with an essential function or need.

Although the United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020, UK residents should be treated as EU residents regarding pandemic-related entry restrictions. Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

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If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Jennifer Connolly
Yvette Allen

Washington, DC
Shannon A. Donnelly