Three months after the European Union, together with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, closed its external borders to all non-essential travel, the bloc is now opening up to certain countries.
The European Union will continue to ban travellers from the United States and most other countries beyond July, EU diplomats told ahead of an official announcement expected on Tuesday.
The 14 countries that will see restrictions lifted as of July 1 are as follows:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
Chinese citizens will also be allowed, but only once China lifts its ban on EU citizens. British citizens can also continue to travel to Ireland.
Under the ongoing travel restrictions, entry to EU countries is only granted in exceptions, such as for long-term EU residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats.
Monday's agreement follows weeks of intense discussions between EU member states about which countries the group should open its borders to and which ones to ban.
The rules are mainly based on epidemiological factors as suggested by the European Commission.
The list will be re-evaluated every two weeks. For restrictions to be lifted, the number of new infections over the past two weeks should be "close to or under" 16 per 100,000 people - the EU average.