EU travel restrictions lifted for third countries, excluding Albania

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 1, 2020 11:05

EU travel restrictions lifted for third countries, excluding Albania

TIRANA, July 1 - Although borders were initially expected to open on July 1st, the lifting of EU travel restrictions for Albanian residents has been postponed until further notice.

According to the European Commission, restrictions will be lifted only for Montenegro and Serbia residents out of the Western Balkans, while the rest are required to hold an EU citizenship, EU residence permit or have an essential need or function to travel. The list of other third countries for which travel restrictions will be lifted consists of: Algeria, Australia, Canada Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China (based on reciprocity).

"The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations," the EC stated.

The critera for each 'third country' will be evaluated based on the number of new COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days and per 100 000 inhabitants close to or below the EU average, stable or decreasing trend of new cases over this period in comparison to the previous 14 days, overall response to COVID-19 taking into account available information, including on aspects such as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting, as well as the reliability of the information and possibly the total average score for International Health Regulations (IHR).

On 11 June the Commission adopted a communication recommending the further extension of the restriction until 30 June 2020 and setting out an approach for a gradual lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel into the EU as of 1 July 2020. However, due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in several countries including Albania, the lifting of the travel restrictions has been postponed.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 1, 2020 11:05