The European Union has encouraged member states to lift restrictions on travel from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and 10 other countries. Travel from all other countries – including Brazil, India, Russia and the United States – will remain restricted, with limited exceptions.

Key Points:

  • Restrictions on travel from 14 countries will be lifted July 1. Restrictions on travel to European Union and Schengen Area countries will be lifted for residents of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. Restrictions on travel for residents of China may also be lifted, but only if China lifts its restrictions on travel from EU countries.
  • Restrictions on travel from all other countries will remain in place. Current rules against non-essential travel for residents of all other countries will remain in place. Member states are encouraged to make exemptions for EU citizens and their family members, long-term EU residents and their family members and travelers “with an essential function or need,” including highly-skilled workers. Additional information about how these exemptions will be implemented in individual member states is expected soon
  • Officials will reassess travel policies every two weeks. Countries may be added to or removed from the “safe” list, depending on COVID-19 conditions and other factors, including any restrictions on travel from the EU.
  • Most internal travel restrictions have been lifted. While some checks remain in place on internal EU borders, most have been lifted. Nationals of the United Kingdom are permitted to travel freely within Europe under transitional Brexit arrangements. Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican are considered EU residents for the purposes of the EU’s recommendations.

Analysis & Comments: The changes represent the most significant steps European countries have taken to reopen their borders since the EU halted non-essential travel in March. While travel will remain off-limits for most countries, including many that are struggling with high COVID-19 infection rates, additional countries may be added in weeks to come. Employers are encouraged to work closely with Deloitte when planning travel to the EU and should note that a number of countries have implemented restrictions on travel from Europe. Most foreign nationals are currently barred from entering the U.S., for example, if they have been physically present in any Schengen Area country, the United Kingdom or Ireland in the past 14 days. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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