BRUSSELS - The European Council revised yesterday the ‘white list’ of countries for which the ban on non-essential travel into the EU should be lifted. In the initial list adopted by Recommendation on 30 June, Member States agreed to lift the travel ban for citizens of 14 countries, based on the epidemiological situation and containment measures put in place, as well as economic and social considerations. In the revised list, two countries have been removed (Serbia and Montenegro), while no new countries were added.
Despite agreement on a ‘white list’, ECTAA regrets that Member States have not implemented the Recommendation in a uniform manner. Some Member States continue to apply a travel ban for some of these countries. And they still have a negative travel advice warning their citizens to travel to those countries. Surely, if Member States deem it safe for the citizens of white-listed countries to come to Europe, it must be safe for European citizens to travel to those countries.
Said Pawel Niewiadomski, President of ECTAA: “Conflicting travel advices from different countries on the same destination country confuse citizens and undermine the restart of traveling and tourism in Europe. We need more coordination within Europe on the lifting of travel restrictions and travel advisories.”
Moreover, ECTAA regrets that many countries issue blanket travel advisories for a whole country, when problematic areas are easily identifiable and localised. Travel warnings should be specific about the location and the geographical extent of the problems and, whenever possible, include maps and indications of distance.
Pawel Niewiadomski concluded “We need to leave these chaotic policies behind and base decisions for lifting travel restrictions on a scientific approach in order to allow travel and tourism to start up again with confidence.”