Canadians hoping to visit Europe during the downturn in travel just got dealt an unfortunate blow. The story is the same for Tunisians and Georgians.The European Union has removed Canada, Tunisia and Georgia from it’s ‘third country’ list of nations eligible for entry from outside the EU. At the same time, Singapore has been added, in an exciting move, which could slowly signal a thawing of travel restrictions between Europe and Asia.
Europe Drops Canada, Georgia Tunisia
The European Union created an approved list of countries from outside of Europe, which would be eligible for entry. The move initially meant visitors from 15 countries outside of the EU would be allowed to travel, opening up possibilities from visitors abroad.
Accordingly, many Canadians and other outside travelers experienced their best ever trips to Europe this past summer, with fewer tourists, better bargains and notably, no American or other outside visitors to be found anywhere.
But now, with rising covid-19 cases in Canada and Europe, the EU is clamping down on potential visitors, and Canada has been removed from the approved list for the first time since its inception. Georgia and Tunisia were also dropped, citing rising cases. The list is yet to be officially published, but Bloomberg received advanced notice of the changes.
Singapore Added To EU Travel List
With travel between the EU and Asia at a virtual standstill for non citizens of Asian countries, a first sign of new potential thawing has emerged.
Singapore will be added to the list of approved outside countries eligible to visit the European Union. Typically, the EU list has been based on reciprocity of some level, which suggests Singapore may loosen restrictions to some extent for EU visitors, at some point at least.
Reciprocity doesn’t necessarily mean wide open doors for EU travelers, but it means a level of cooperation between governments on both sides, with the aim of allowing travel to return in due course.
Singapore recently opened the doors for tourism from Pacific nations including Australia, but blanket restrictions on outbound travel from Australia and 14 days in government quarantine mean few can actually turn the opportunity into reality.
New EU Approved Country List
Thinking of visiting the EU, and any of the delightful countries within? From 15 original participants, the list of countries with visitors eligible for EU entry is down to 9. Unless you’re a citizen of an EU country, immediate family member of one, or are traveling on essential business, of course.
The new EU travel list now allows for travelers from: Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay, with China pending reciprocity. EU travelers currently remain barred from most of the nations on the approved list.
What Will Winter Bring?
So much remains to be seen with winter travel and how flu season will interact with the covid-19 pandemic. Airlines have slashed scheduled in response to grim prospects and countries are erring on the side of caution with travel. The EU recently agreed on mutual criterion for intra-EU travel, but it’s unclear whether it’ll make things any easier, with such rapidly changing outlooks on health, travel and business.
I don’t think Singapore will be opening up anytime soon, and certainly not without keeping the 14 day quarantine. The majority of there local cases are imported with up to 12 cases one day. They’ll be keeping the Two week quarantine for the EU for some time still. At least quarantine here is in nice hotels unlike in Australia.
For the last week or so, Singapore was practically virus free (with one local/dormitory case on a couple of days). Most of the cases reported there are imported. Contrast that with EU where you probably have a combined cases in the hundred of thousands in the last 7 days. Total death in EU so far has far exceeded 200,000. Total death in Singapore is less than 30 to-date. With such statistics, many countries would not hesitate to have a bubble corridor with Singapore. EU? Not so much. So, what kind of reciprocal arrangement is EU expecting from Singapore?
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