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EU approves ‘white list’ travel status for eight destinations

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The EU on Friday lifted travel restrictions linked to Covid-19 for residents of Lebanon, the United States and six other countries and territories.

Albania, Hong Kong, Macao, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia and Taiwan have also been added to the EU’s “white list”, which allows travel to the bloc for non-essential reasons such as tourism from Friday.

Bloc member states can independently decide whether to waive the need for travelers to self-quarantine on arrival or to be fully vaccinated.

Some EU countries already allowed immune tourists from certain countries to enter.

Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand were already on the “white list”, which takes into account the situation and the response of Covid-19 in each country or territory. China will be added to the list subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

The list is revised every two weeks as the EU seeks to ease restrictions with the economically important summer tourist season ahead.

The ban on non-essential travel from third countries has largely been in place since March 2020.

Any country that reports less than 75 new cases of Covid per day per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks will be considered for inclusion in EU “white list” countries.

There must also be evidence of a stable or declining trend in new infections over 14 days and the overall response of authorities in each country to the larger pandemic.