EU to reopen borders to 14 countries starting July 1, Israel, US left out

Ambassadors from the 27 EU members convened from Friday afternoon to establish criteria for granting quarantine-free access from next Wednesday.

A European Union flag flies outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 19, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN)
A European Union flag flies outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 19, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN)
European Union members agreed to reopen their borders to citizens of 14 countries, with Israel excluded from the list as its situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is more serious than in Europe, according to a report published by Le Monde.
Among other nations also excluded by the EU include the United States, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Ambassadors from the 27 EU members convened on Friday afternoon to establish criteria for granting quarantine-free access from next Wednesday.
It has been decided Europe will reopen its borders to citizens from Australia, Canada, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Uruguay, three North African states (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia), Georgia, Montenegro and Serbia.
The Le Monde report noted that some EU members have requested a delay in the decision for further examination, meaning the decision may be revised. The list is not entirely binding, border management remains a matter of national decision.
The member countries may therefore not be open to all the 14 nationalities selected, but they undertake, on the other hand, not to accept nationals from other states.
“International travel is key to tourism and business, and for family and friends reconnecting,” European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said earlier this month.
Before the crisis, an average of 3.5 million people crossed an internal EU border every day, according to a European Parliament report last year, some 1.7 million of them commuting to work.

Reuters contributed to this article.