Ukraine remains in the red zone for the EU / REUTERS

Ukraine has not again been included in the European Union's revised list of third countries whose citizens are allowed to enter the EU member states during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is stated in an announcement by the EU Council on January 28, 2021.

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Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted. As stipulated in the Council recommendation, this list will continue to be reviewed every two weeks and, as the case may be, updated.

Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from January 28 member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries: Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity).

Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong, and Macao, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation.

The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively. Reciprocity should also be taken into account regularly and on a case-by-case basis.

Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.

As is seen from the updated list of countries, Ukraine was not subject to the lifting of the travel ban.

Background

  • On March 16, 2020, the Commission adopted a communication recommending a temporary restriction of all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU for one month. EU heads of state or government agreed to implement this restriction on March 17. The travel restriction was extended for a further month respectively on April 8, 2020 and May 8, 2020.
  • On 11 June the Commission adopted a communication recommending the further extension of the restriction until June 30, 2020 and setting out an approach for a gradual lifting of the restriction on non-essential travel into the EU as of July 1, 2020.
  • On June 30, the Council adopted a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, including an initial list of countries for which member states should start lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders. The list is reviewed every two weeks and, as the case may be, updated.
  • The Council says its recommendation is not a legally binding instrument. The authorities of the member states remain responsible for implementing the content of the recommendation. They may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards countries listed.
  • A Member State should not decide to lift the travel restrictions for non-listed third countries before this has been decided in a coordinated manner.