Tourists visit the Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium, on June 28, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng)

EU lifts travel restrictions for 11 non-EU countries

The European Union (EU) now allows travelers from eleven non-EU countries to enter its external borders, after removing Morocco from its latest “safe list”.

According to the COVID-19 situation monitored by the World Health Organization, as of Saturday Morocco reported 30,662 cases, with 1,018 new infections. A total of 461 people have died due to the virus in the country, 12 of them being newly confirmed.

Reviewing the latest epidemiological situation and containment measures around the world, the Council of the EU updated late Friday the list of countries for which temporary restrictions on travel into the EU should be lifted.

The latest safe list only consists of 11 countries, the least since the bloc began to issue recommendations on June 30.

Starting from Saturday, the Council asked the EU member states to gradually lift the travel restrictions for residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. It also recommended that residents of China be allowed to travel to the EU, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

The Council used to update the list every two weeks, but the previous update took place only a week ago on July 30. It said it will assess the epidemiological conditions constantly and “if the situation in a listed third country worsens quickly, rapid decision-making should be applied.”

The recommendations are not legally binding, and the EU member states have the authority to make their final decisions.