EU lifts restrictions on travel from Japan, 13 other countries

Jul 01 , 2020. 9 minutes ago – 10:51 KYODO NEWS

Passengers are seen at the boarding gate with protective face mask, Brussels Airport resumes its passenger activities today In Zaventem – Belgium on 15 June 2020. The borders with neighboring countries are officially reopened, as are most other European internal borders.

BRUSSELS – The European Union on Wednesday lifted travel restrictions for visitors from 14 countries outside the bloc, including Japan and South Korea, after introducing the step in March in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The 27-member regional group is seeking to revive its virus-hit economy ahead of the summer travel season by removing the travel ban on countries with virus infection rates similar to or below that of the bloc.

Member nations can still take their own steps for visitors from the 14 countries, including requesting them to self-quarantine for a certain period, as immigration controls are under the jurisdiction of each country.

The other 12 nations are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.

Japan has an entry ban in place for about 130 countries and regions, including the 27 EU nations. Since the European Union seeks reciprocity on travel restrictions, the regional bloc is set to call for Tokyo to ease its measures.

The European Union will maintain entry bans for countries with high infection rates such as Brazil, Russia and the United States for the time being.

Admission of visitors from China, where the novel coronavirus was first detected late last year, will depend on whether Beijing allows European tourists to enter the country.

The European Union plans to update the list of countries for lifting travel restrictions every two weeks.