As the European Union continues to reopen for travel, visitors are now allowed to arrive in the EU from 11 more countries.
The travel “safe list” has been expanded to include a variety of nations, from fellow European states like Montenegro to Persian Gulf countries Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
It is not yet known if or when these countries will return the gesture to European travelers. Some maintain tight restrictions on entry, although it is expected that holders of a Saudi Arabia eVisa may be permitted to visit the country soon.
In the meantime, travelers from Saudi Arabia and other countries on the EU’s safe list will be free to take a trip to the Czech Republic or any of the other 26 member states.
Which countries are now on the EU’s “safe list”?
The European Union recommends that its member countries allow entry to travelers arriving from several other states outside the bloc. Passengers coming into the EU from these “safe” countries face reduced travel restrictions, although they may still need to be tested before traveling.
The latest additions to the safe list are as follows:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Saudi Arabia
These 11 countries join Albania, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and the Chinese autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
In another blow to holidaying after Brexit, the United Kingdom, which recently left the EU, is notably absent from the list. This is likely due to the sharp rise in cases caused by the new Delta variant of COVID-19. This strain is thought to be highly infectious.
Visiting Europe in 2021
After a year and a half of the pandemic, travel abroad is back. If you are lucky enough to be living in one of the countries on the EU’s safe list, you might be able to take a trip to one of the member states this summer.
However, it is important to remember that the EU does not decide the immigration policy of its members and the safe list is advisory. Each country in the bloc makes its own rules on who can come in. You should check that people traveling from your country of residence are allowed to go to your destination of choice before booking any holiday.
Most EU countries also have certain rules in place for all arriving travelers. The majority ask for either a negative COVID-19 test taken within a few days before departure, a vaccination certificate, or proof of recent recovery from coronavirus.
For many destinations, you will also have to complete a health declaration form to enter the country.
As long as you comply with these rules, EU countries like France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece will be open for your summer holidays.
Whether you are planning a quiet getaway or booking your place at one of the biggest events of 2021, you can start organizing your trip to Europe now.