EU may shut door to travel from Canada, allow Singapore visitors

·2-min read
Travellers stand at an information desk about the free of charge coronavirus COVID-19 testing station at Duesseldorf airport on October 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Travellers at an information desk about the free COVID-19 testing station at Duesseldorf airport, 19 October 2020. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP) (PHOTO: INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

By Jonathan Stearns

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union plans to remove Canada, Tunisia and Georgia from its list of countries whose residents should be allowed to visit the bloc amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to EU officials familiar with the matter.

The EU intends at the same time to reopen its doors to travellers from Singapore as a result of improved virus trends there, the officials said on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations on Tuesday in Brussels are confidential. The U.S. will remain blacklisted along with most other countries in the world.

The changes would be the first in more than two months to the EU’s recommended travel “white list,” shrinking it from 11 foreign nations at present to nine. The other eight are Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay.

The update of the list comes amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases in Europe itself and, barring any changes in the plan, is due to be endorsed by EU member-country envoys on Wednesday in the Belgian capital. In a third planned move, which affects the format of the list, the EU aims to identify the Chinese regions of Hong Kong and Macau as separate entities as a result of the bloc’s visa rules, one of the officials said.

The EU on July 1 recommended that member states allow foreign visitors from 15 countries as part of a move to loosen coronavirus-triggered restrictions imposed in mid-March on non-essential travel to the bloc.

Since then, Serbia, Montenegro, Algeria and Morocco have been delisted as a result of resurgences in virus cases. The EU normally reviews its list roughly every two weeks, with the last change being the removal of Morocco in the first half of August.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.